The decisions came after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a Rs 2.50-a-litre cut in petrol and diesel prices, factoring in excise duty reduction of Rs 1.50 per litre and asking oil marketing companies to absorb another Re 1 per litre.
In September, the chief minister had announced a Rs 2 cut on petrol and diesel prices while the country was seeing daily increase in prices. The governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh - all under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party - have already said they will do so.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced that effective immediately, prices of petrol and diesel will be slashed by Rs 2.5, pan India.
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The move by the central and state governments will cost the exchequer a significant amount but will provide relief for consumers. However, India's domestic indicators are quite strong and stable. However, apart from Karnataka, Trinamool Congress-ruled West Bengal and BJP-ruled Rajasthan had given relief on fuel prices last month.
"The states' revenue increases because of increased crude oil prices and hence it is easier for the states to absorb Rs 2.50", he said.
"Ever since Modi government assumed power it raised excise duty on diesel by Rs 14 and petrol by Rs 9 per litre".
The TRS government in Telangana will be under pressure now to follow suit as not reducing Value-Added Tax after a central reduction in excise duty would lead opposition parties in the state to blame the state government during assembly election campaign. Mr Jaitley then urged the states to follow suit after which seven states announced cuts in petrol and diesel rates.
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Jaitley said the move followed Brent crude oil touching four-year high of Dollars 86 a barrel Wednesday and interest rates in U.S. reaching seven-year high.
Except the Current Account Deficit (CAD), which is directly linked to oil prices, all other data are encouraging, he said.
The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting of the finance and the petroleum ministries. Yesterday, media reported that the Modi government had allowed local companies affected by the rise in oil prices to borrow internationally up to US$10 billion. State-run refiners will also cut the price they charge by 1 rupee per litre. The total impact of the excise duty cut on us for the entire fiscal would have been Rs 21,000 crore.
Brent crude oil hit $86 per barrel on Wednesday, recording its highest level in 4 years.
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