Fuel prices have been consistently hitting record highs since mid-August.
"The states' revenue increases because of increased crude oil prices and hence it is easier for the states to absorb Rs 2.50", he said. We welcome this decision and thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of the people and BJP workers.
On the centre's recommendation to the states, Jaitley said: "Now all states will be on test".
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Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist at India Ratings and Research, said the move could act as a "minor comforting factor" for the central bank during its monetary policy meeting scheduled on Friday, as a fuel price cut will ease retail inflation. Other BJP-ruled states are expected to follow suit.
For state-owned fuel retailers absorbing Re 1 per litre price would mean about Rs 10,700 crore dent in their revenue on an annualised basis. "Our OMCs will also absorb 1 rupee, resulting in an overall reduction of Rs 2.50 in prices of both petrol and diesel".
Maharashtra and Gujarat were among the first to announce matching fuel price cuts providing an effective Rs 5 relief to consumers.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also took to Twitter saying that the Modi government has hiked the excise duty by Rs 10 and slashed prices by just Rs 2.50. It is to be noted that the Maharashtra government has reduced the price of petrol only and not diesel.
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With this decision, fuel prices in several states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh will come down by Rs 5. Jaitley said the decision to give relief to consumers was necessitated by the uncertainty regarding the global oil prices and was made possible by better-than-expected revenue collections.
The main opposition party also asked the government to explain the reasons for the rising prices of LPG and CNG.
Soon after the Centre announced the decision, BJP president Amit Shah said all the BJP-ruled states have also chose to reduce Value-Added Tax by Rs.2.50 per litre on fuel.
Speaking on the reason for price cut, the Finance Minister said that there has been a significant impact of higher interest rates in the U.S. and crude oil prices on rising fuel prices in the country. Neither the centre nor the states have the bandwidth to make any steep cut in excise duties and sales tax due to limited fiscal space available in an election year.
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