The CPI (M)-led Kerala government slashed the state tax imposed on petroleum products by a rupee in view of the rising fuel prices and Vijayan said the onus was now on the Centre to effect a price reduction from its end.
But the marginal decline had its share of excitement with state-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) first announcing a reduction of 60 paise - the biggest since daily price revision was introduced in mid-June previous year, only to retract it within a couple of hours citing a technical error.
Before the oil retailer corrected the error, the petrol price in Mumbai was pegged at Rs 85.65 per litre and diesel at Rs 73.20 per litre, each falling by 59 paise. For 19 days there were no movement in prices of both the fuels.
The reason behind the increase in petrol prices in the country is the rise in the crude oil cost and high excise duty levied on the particular fuel type.
"There is a softening in global oil prices and rupee has strengthened against the U.S. dollar, making imports cheaper".
OMCs have been revising petrol and diesel prices on a daily basis since last June. "It's been five days now, but nobody has come to buy potatoes", said a concerned potato farmer.
This comes the day the Centre cut fuel prices after 16 consecutive hikes, but by only one paisa.
State sales tax or VAT vary from state to state. Diesel rates were reduced by a similar proportion to ₹73.20.
Delhi has the cheapest price among all metros and most state capitals. Prices are now off their peak of ₹69.31 a litre.