In a relief amidst the rising prices of commodities, the Maharashtra Cabinet on Tuesday decided to slash prices of petrol and diesel by Rs. 2 and Re. 1/litre. The reduced prices will be effective from midnight. Earlier in the day, the Gujarat government had cut down value added tax (VAT) on fuel by 4% in a move that will significantly reduce the price of both petrol and diesel. Following that, price of petrol has gone down by Rs 2.93/litre and diesel by Rs 2.7/ litre.

“We are cutting down VAT on fuel by 4%; price of petrol to come down by Rs 2.93, diesel by Rs 2.72,” Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani said while making the announcement. The sudden reduction in fuel prices may be seen in the light of oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan asking states to reduce VAT. Dharmendra Pradhan had earlier asked the states to bring down VAT mentioning that the excise duty had been proactively cut. “We have proactively cut excise duty. Now it is the turn of states to reduce VAT,” Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had remarked.

Further adding to his statement, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “States are the biggest beneficiary. They get all of the VAT collection plus they also get 42% of the central excise collections. The amount remaining with the Centre is used to finance centrally sponsored schemes in states.” Centre had reduced the excise duty on petrol to Rs 19.48 per litre from Rs 21.48 per litre and on diesel to Rs 15.33 a litre from Rs 17.33. As a result of which petrol prices were cut by Rs 2.5 per litre and diesel by Rs 2.25.

Previously on October 4, the central Government reduced the basic excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre after facing constant criticism from the opposition over the rising prices of diesel and petrol. On October 7, around 54,000 petrol pumps across the country had warned to stop their services on Friday, October 13 if the demands of the United Petrol Front (UPF) are not fulfilled by the government. The organisation demanded the petrol products to be included under the Goods and Services (GST) and the Daily Price Mechanism (Daily price changes) to be revised as the move has turned out to be of no benefit for either the consumers or the traders.