After Centre, people await State also to reduce rates
- Consumers happy, but traders not as profit margin reduces
- Ever-rising commercial LPG prices put hoteliers in soup
Mysore/Mysuru: Hours after the Central Government cut the Excise Duty on petrol and diesel, nine BJP-ruled States announced additional reductions in fuel prices. These States include Karnataka, Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand.
The Centre, on the eve of Deepavali, took a significant decision of reducing Central Excise Duty on petrol by Rs. 5 and Rs. 10 on diesel and also urged State Governments to commensurately reduce VAT on petrol and diesel to give relief to consumers.
Yesterday, petrol price in Mysuru stood at Rs. 113.63 a litre, while diesel was available at Rs. 104.25 a litre. Today, after the Central Government’s gift, the petrol prices stood at Rs. 107.35 following a Rs. 6.60 cut, while diesel was being sold at Rs. 91.76 a litre after Rs. 12.40 cut.
After the Centre, the Karnataka Government announced slashing their prices by an additional Rs. 7 per litre. In a series of tweets, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that petrol will now cost approximately Rs. 95.90 a litre and diesel Rs. 81.5 in Karnataka and the changes would come into effect today evening or midnight.
Consumers elated, traders frown
While consumers rushed to petrol pumps this morning to fill fuel to the brim, many held back to wait for the State prices to come into force. Consumers said that never before has the prices been reduced drastically like the Narendra Modi Government has done this time. “Usually, there is a cut of Re. 1 or maximum Rs. 2. This is for the first time that so much has been reduced,” said M.N. Nagendra who had come to a petrol pump on Hunsur Road with his SUV.
The 7-rupee cut will lead to a loss of Rs. 2,100 crore to the State exchequer, CM Basavaraj Bommai had stated in his tweet. Interestingly, the Narendra Modi Government cut the petrol and diesel prices soon after by-polls that were held in some parts of the country unlike the previous Governments.
While consumers are happy with the slashing of prices, traders, who had stocked up petrol expecting a windfall during festival season, are a disappointed lot. They will have to clear the old stocks that they had purchased at the old prices with the prevailing prices as announced by the Government.
K.M. Basavegowda, President of Akhila Karnataka Federation of Petroleum Traders, told Star of Mysore this morning that dealers were not expecting this drastic reduction and they would be forced to bear the loss.
Hoteliers in soup
The rising price of commercial LPG cylinders has landed city hoteliers in the soup. Commercial LPG cylinders have increased by Rs. 400 in the last six months and for the first time, commercial cylinders have breached Rs. 2,000.
This, along with the rising price of essential commodities, is eating into the little profit that restaurants are making after months of lockdown. “We are forced not to increase the food prices as any such move might drive away customers who have now resumed dining out after the second wave of COVID-19,” said a hotelier.