Karnataka, Kerala, New Delhi refuse to cut petrol, diesel prices

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The Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Democratic Front government in Kerala on Thursday, 4 October ruled out slashing the cess on petrol and diesel to match the Centre's announcement in fuel price cut.

In a major relief for consumers, the government on Thursday reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre and said the oil marketing companies (OMC) will absorb the impact to the tune of Re 1 per litre. Jaitley also urged state governments to further reduce VAT and other state-level taxes to further drop the price.

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Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for cutting excise duty on petrol and diesel, UP CM Yogi Adityanath said the reduction in fuel prices will bring relief to the common man. BJP-ruled Gujarat, Tripura and Chhattisgarh governments have also announced a similar reduction in oil prices.

Last month, the governments of Karnataka, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh had cut taxes on petrol and diesel.

In a tweet, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that "the government of Gujarat has chose to cut Rs 2.50 on both petrol and diesel". The government has upped its ante and steps has been taken to cut down on the borrowing by Rs 70,000 crore and it has allowed OMCs to raise $10 billion.

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Yet now that the higher oil prices have combined with a falling rupee after the latest quarterly economic growth figures turned out disappointing, with the deficit widening, India is facing a serious challenge in sustaining its growth while reducing the adverse impact of the latest oil market developments. Fuel prices are not uniform across the country due to variable state taxes.

The Himachal Pradesh government has made a decision to reduce prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 2.50 per litre, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said. "What will they do now and last time also only BJP and NDA-led state governments reduced Value-Added Tax".

"I hope all state governments do this, and they announce this so that consumers benefit by 5 rupees", Jaitley told reporters.

Eleven states announced cuts in prices of petrol and diesel on Thursday after the central government slashed excise duty on fuel.

In India, nearly half of the price of retail fuel is due to taxes.

Within minutes, however, the Congress attacked the government for a "meager" reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel.