After fuel prices came down by about 15 per cent over the last six months, consumers in the state are hoping the down trend continues. Currently petrol sells at about Rs 61.25 per litre and diesel at Rs 61.97 per liter. It is a huge relief for consumers who battled high fuel prices for most part of 2018. The softening in fuel prices came towards the fag end of the year, especially in the month of December.
With the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) remaining non-committal on crude oil supply cut at its Vienna meeting, fuel prices now appear to be heading for another slide in India, according to experts. Petrol and diesel prices are down uniformly across all states in the country. .
Petrol prices had hit an all-time high on October 4, when crude oil was also trading at higher levels. Since then, the price has fallen by about 15 per cent, while crude oil rates have been down by about 30 per cent over concerns of oversupply and global economic slowdown.
The price gap between the two automobile fuels has been narrowing. The rate of decline in petrol prices has not been as sharp as that for diesel. In the global market, international Brent crude oil futures fell below US $60 per barrel while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were around $51 per barrel.
The retail selling price of petrol and diesel is dependent on the international prices of benchmark fuel and the rupee-US dollar exchange rate. This is because a large proportion of the country’s requirement is met through imports.
Petrol is cheapest in Goa because of lower VAT. In Karnataka the price is higher by Rs five- six per litre and in Maharashtra by Rs 15-16 per litre.
In Octoberr 2015 the centre slashed excise duty on petrol and diesel to lower prices as global crude surged to a four-year record on top of a Rupee freefall. Apart from the excise reduction of Rs 1.5, the oil marketing companies were told to absorb a Rs one relief, adding up to a cut of Rs 2.5 per litre.
States were also asked to make a matching Rs 2.5 per litre cut in value added tax (VAT) to provide a total Rs 5 per litre relief to consumers. Most BJP-ruled states, including Goa as well as Gujarat, UP, MP and Haryana did so.
Some states like Karnataka have now decided to increase taxes on petrol and diesel and raised prices commensurately. In Goa fingers are crossed that the VAT does not increase.