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Fuel prices to rise by up to Rs 2.67 a litre

Petrol and diesel prices will go up by Rs 2.67 a litre and Rs 2.58 per litre, respectively, after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday raised customs and excise duties on the two, virtually putting the Kirit Parikh Committee report on fuel price in cold storage.

Customs duty on petrol and diesel were increased to 7.5 per cent from 2.5 per cent while excise duty was raised by Re 1 a litre to Rs 14.35 and Rs 4.60 per litre on non-branded (normal) petrol and diesel respectively.

The incidence of customs and excise duty would result in petrol prices going up by Rs 2.67 a litre in Delhi and diesel by Rs 2.58 per litre with effect from midnight tonight.

Petrol, in Delhi currently, costs Rs 44.72 a litre and diesel Rs 32.92 per litre.

Mukherjee also imposed 5 per cent import duty on crude (currently nil), a move that would impact refiners like Reliance Industries and Essar Oil with their input cost going up.

Reliance Industries' 33 million tons a year refinery catering to domestic market would alone have to bear Rs 5,100 crore because of higher rates. Its other 29 million tons unit is only for exports and does not pay customs duty.

The increase in rates virtually put the Parikh report on fuel pricing reforms in cold storage as implementing the expert group report on freeing petrol and diesel prices would mean a further Rs 4.94 a litre increase in petrol and Rs 3.20 per litre in crease in diesel rates.