As many as 21 opposition parties, both national and regional, participated in Bharat Bandh. In Hyderabad, petrol costs Rs 85.75 and diesel Rs 79.37.
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According to a report in The Economic Times, MP has the highest Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, making its fuel prices among the costliest in the country. Some pumps are offering free breakfast and tea for drivers who purchase 100 litres of diesel, while others are offering electronic appliances and 2-wheelers on the purchase of a specific quantity of fuel. "While crude prices are plummeting in worldwide markets, the increase of fuel prices in India is disheartening".
The petition has also alleged that the government was spreading "misleading information" by connecting the rising fuel prices here with the global increase in the rate of crude oil as the cost of petrol and diesel did not go down when crude was cheaper. In Parbhani in the region, today's retails price is Rs 90.12. "Alternatively, a $1/barrel increase in oil prices translates, on average, to a Rs 1,513-crore revenue gain for all the major 19 states", it mentioned.
"Petrol and diesel are essential commodities and the respondent/government is failing in its duty to discharge its obligation under Section 3 (1) of the (Essential Commodities) Act and have indirectly given implied consent to oil companies to increase the prices of petrol and diesel at their own whims and fancies", the petitioner, Pooja Mahajan, has said in her public interest litigation. The sales tax on petrol varies from 6 per cent (Andaman & Nicobar Island) to 39.12 per cent (Maharashtra - Mumbai, Thane & Navi Mumbai). Naidu has announced that AP state is cutting down 2 percent on its excise duty on petrol and diesel.