PUNE: While citizens across the country are rejoicing over the cut in petrol prices, Punekars do not have any reason to celebrate as they pay the highest price in the country to purchase petrol.
The Union government slashed petrol prices with effect from May 15 by Rs 2.16 per litre, but people’e joy was short lived as just within 24 hours, the State government declared an additional surcharge of Rs 2 on the sale of petrol. The new rate of petrol in the city is Rs 77.52 per litre. An official notification will be released soon.
“The rates may vary at petrol pumps due to dynamic pricing by Rs 0.25 per litre. The new rate of Power is now Rs 80 per litre,” said Ali Daruwalla, spokesperson of All India Petrol Dealers Association.
According to Daruwalla, the State government, in April, increased the surcharge collected along with Value Added Tax (VAT) from Rs 6 to Rs 9, making petrol in Pune and Mumbai among the costliest in the country. He said that now the total State taxes on petrol add up to 25 per cent VAT plus Rs 11 surcharge.
The prices are higher in Pune than Mumbai as the cost goes up while getting the product from Mumbai port to Pune. Also, Pune Cantonment Board area, which houses 25 pumps, has 2 per cent Local Body Tax (LBT).
Speaking to Sakal Times, working professional Purva Sankhala questioned how the government expects the common man to survive with repeated price escalations. “First of all, the condition of public transport in Pune is deplorable, forcing the common man to use personal vehicles to commute. To top that up, they are repeatedly increasing the price of fuel. How is the common man going to survive in such a situation? Petrol is an essential commodity and the continuous price hike is burning a hole in people’s pockets,” she said.
Daruwalla further mentioned that the only good thing in the decision is that the prices of diesel have not been hiked, which would end up hitting the dealers as well as the entire value chain negatively.