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Petrol price in Goa now almost at par with other states



Goa has come a long way from April 1, 2012, when the then chief minister, Manohar Parrikar, fulfilling the pre-assembly poll assurance of the Bharatiya Janata Party, slashed the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol from existing 20 per cent to a record 0.1 per cent, thus making petrol cheaper by Rs 11 per litre.

Today after just-over-seven-years, the state is experiencing the highest petrol rate in many, many years with its price touching
Rs 66.53 per litre. The diesel in the state, on the other hand, is charged at Rs 64.98 per litre.

In fact, the state is facing double rise in the prices of fuels, in the recent few days. The petrol and diesel prices in the country increased on May 20, just a day after the final phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, with the oil companies looking to pare their losses. Last month, the petrol prices rose by about 8 to 10 paise, while diesel rose by 15 to 16 paise across India. This rise in fuel prices was attributed to the rise in crude oil prices in the international market.

The state government, on June 14, 2019, increased the VAT on petrol from 15 per cent to 20 per cent, while hiked that on diesel from 15 per cent to 18 per cent. This effectively made the petrol rate in the state go up by Rs 2.78 per litre, and the diesel rate shoot up by Rs 1.65 per  litre.

The slashing of petrol prices in Goa by Parrikar, in April 2012 had resulted in massive boost in sales at the state fuel outlets. Even as the residents in the state were benefitted financially, many tourist vehicles arriving in Goa went back after fully loading their tanks with the fuel. Before April 2012, the state was collecting Rs 47 lakh per day in the form of VAT on petrol, which was reduced to Rs 27,000 per day, after the decision of the Parrikar government was implemented.

However, with the closure of the mining industry in the state during the later part of 2012, the government faced severe financial crunch, as the mining closure took away 25 per cent of the revenue flow. In December 2014, when Parrikar was no longer the chief minister and Laxmikant Parsekar had taken over his place, the Parsekar government implemented 5 per cent VAT on petrol, so that its price became little more than that of diesel.

At the beginning of 2016, the Parsekar government announced a seven per cent hike in VAT on petrol. This raised the per litre price of petrol from Rs 51.05 to Rs 54.05. The year 2016 witnessed another hike in the VAT on petrol by the Parsekar government, this time to 22 per cent through the budgetary announcement. By June 2016, the VAT on petrol came down to 15 per cent and by December 2016, it was slashed to 9 per cent, so as to finally bring the price of the fuel to Rs 60 per litre.

Parsekar at that time had said that the price of petrol in Goa would be kept at around Rs 60 per litre by reducing and increasing VAT as and when required.

After Parrikar came back in 2017 as the chief minister, in the March 2017 budget, he hiked the VAT on petrol to 15 per cent. Then there was a major reduction in the prices of both, petrol and diesel in the state, when both the fuels became cheaper by Rs 2.50 per litre in October 2018, following decrease of VAT on them by 4 per cent.

In January 2019, the government hiked VAT on petrol by 2 per cent, taking its rate to Rs 63.75 per litre.

Today, the circle is complete and the price of petrol in Goa is almost at par with that in other states around the country.

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