MUMBAI: Petrol and diesel prices will be frozen for a day on Wednesday. Sources informed TOI that petrol will remain at Rs 86.72 per litre and diesel at Rs 75.74 per litre.
The government may consider bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST in a bid to reduce rates, which touched a new high on Tuesday. This comes close on the heels of transporters issuing a twoweek ultimatum to bring down prices and calling a meeting of all associations on September 21 to plan a nationwide protest.
Bal Malkit Singh of the All-India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) alleged that during the pre-Karnataka poll days in May, fuel prices had “frozen” for 19 days before dynamic pricing was resumed. “The government can definitely control fuel prices across the country and if there is a will, the central government can reduce excise duty while the Maharashtra government can reduce VAT and other taxes,” he said.
The AIMTC is a nationwide umbrella body of several associations. While transporters and motorists are fuming, state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Tuesday announced that that the BJP-led state government will push for petrol and diesel to be included in the GST. He said the matter will be taken up in the upcoming GST council meeting. He said that if petrol and diesel comes under GST, fuel prices will stabilize throughout the state as levies and surcharges will cease to exist.
Association leaders welcomed the announcement. “Despite the Centre assuring us that it will look into our demands, including a quarterly review of fuel prices, a reduction in tax/excise duty/cess and bringing fuel prices under the ambit of GST, nothing has been done. We will be happy if taxes and duties are reduced so that it brings relief not only to transporters, but also to the common man,” said a senior member of the Bombay Goods Transport Association.