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No relief on fuel prices soon, government working on permanent solution: Pradhan

New Delhi: Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday said that the government is deliberating on a permanent solution to deal with rising fuel prices.

In an exclusive interview with Zee Media Pradhan said, “We don’t want a cosmetic solution. We are looking at a long-term solution.”

With consumers feeling the heat of surging fuel prices, there have been demands and suggestions from various quarters, including from within the government as well as opposition, for immediate action to curb the prices.

Taking a dig at senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, Pradhan said that the solutions are not made over night.

“Chidambaram can argue with me with four economists. We are not running away from our responsibilities. Prices won’t come down in the next 4-5 days,” he added.

Couple of weeks ago, Chidambaram had claimed that it was possible to cut up to Rs 25 per litre in petrol prices but the government will not do so.

On being asked as to what measures the BJP-ruled states are taking to curb rising fuel prices, he said that there can not be a one stop solution to all. “Various states have various revenue and expenditure models. So the taxation in Assam can not be similar to that in Maharashtra,” he added.

The central government levies Rs 19.48 a litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. State sales tax or VAT vary from state to state. In Delhi, VAT on petrol is Rs 15.84 and Rs 9.68 a litre on diesel.

Meanwhile, fuel prices continued to touch another peak for the 16th consecutive day, with petrol being sold at Rs 78.43 per litre in Delhi and Rs 86.24 per litre in Mumbai.

The cost of diesel per litre has also been increased to Rs 69.31 per litre in Delhi and Rs 73.79 a litre in Mumbai.
In April, Pradhan had said the Centre and the state governments have been considering bringing the petroleum products under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax.

State-owned oil companies in June 2017, dumped the 15-year old practice of revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month and instead adopted a dynamic daily price revision to instantly reflect changes in cost.