Fuels prices slashed, auto unions demand relief for CNG too

A day after the Centre slashed excise duty on fuel prices, the rates of petrol and diesel in Delhi were reduced by Rs 8.69 per litre and Rs 7.05 per litre respectively. The new prices kicked in from 6 am on Sunday. While petrol and diesel dealers, vehicle owners and taxi associations welcomed the move, cab and autorickshaw unions were unhappy as there was no relief or subsidy on CNG.

Petrol prices in the city had crossed the Rs 100-mark (per litre) in the past few months. Till Saturday, petrol was being sold at Rs 105.45 per litre and diesel at Rs 96.71 per litre. After the reduction in prices, petrol now costs Rs 96.76, while diesel costs Rs 89.66 at Hindustan Petroleum pumps and Rs 89.62 per litre at Indian Oil and Bharat Petroleum.

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“It is a huge relief for people in the transport business. The government has reduced fuel rates by almost Rs 9. Our request is to keep it this way,” said Rajendra Kapoor, president, All India Motor and Goods Vehicle Association.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said slashing of excise duty will bring at least a 10% reduction on other daily goods and commodities. Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary, CAIT, said, “The government should direct big manufacturers to reduce prices of their goods as they increase their costs in no time when fuel prices go up.”

However, Rajendra Soni, president, Delhi Autorickshaw Union, said: “It is good that excise duty on petrol and diesel was reduced. But both the Centre and state government have forgotten auto-rickshaw and cab drivers who are facing difficulties due to the continuous rise in CNG prices. We held protests and the Delhi government said it will increase the fare price. But we want a 33% subsidy on CNG.”

The CNG price in Delhi was Rs 75.61 per kg on Sunday and Rs 73.61 on Friday. It increased at least three times in May. On March 28, CNG price per kg was Rs 60.01. The drivers’ unions, including those employed with cab aggregators, held several protests in April demanding subsidy on CNG prices. “We depend on daily earnings, but CNG rates have increased at least 15 times in the last year,” said Soni.

Following the protests, the Delhi Transport Minister had constituted a 13-member committee on April 20 to revise autorickshaw and taxi fares in the capital. The panel was directed to submit a report in 30 days.

The article was originally published here

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