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"We are writing to the state governments that as the central government is cutting Rs 2.50 on both petrol and diesel, they do the same".

The price of petrol in Delhi on Friday (Oct 5) was Rs 81.50 per litre while in Mumbai it was Rs 86.97.

Petrol and diesel rates are decided on a daily basis by oil-marketing companies on the basis of the rupee-dollar rate and global crude oil prices. The central excise on petrol and diesel went up by 211 per cent and 443 per cent respectively in this same period.

Following this, the Gujarat and Maharashtra Governments announced additional relief of Rs2.5/litre Petrol/Diesel.

► Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said: "Maharashtra government also made a decision to give additional relief of Rs 2.50 per litre on petrol to give a total benefit of Rs 5 per litre in the state of Maharashtra".

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On Thursday, shortly after the Centre announced reduction in prices of petrol-diesel, Maharashtra and at least another 10 states followed suit by reducing various local taxes like VAT on petrol and diesel.

All four states are BJP ruled.

Jaitley said, "Excise duty will be reduced by Rs 1.50 and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) will absorb Rs 1". Centre will issue notification on cut in excise duty by Thursday midnight so that consumers get immediate relief.

The Finance Minister said, the prices of crude oil and domestic developments in the USA have impacted the economies across the world. He urged the state governments to cut the Value-Added Tax on fuel by an equal amount so that the fuel prices go down by Rs 5 per litre. But growing public anger over surging fuel prices has caught the attention of the government. However, the diesel rate in Mumbai was increased by only 7 paise on Saturday.

By lowering duties, the Narendra Modi government is borrowing a page from the rulebook of past governments that have lowered levies whenever global oil prices shot up. Their prices are likely to come down to below Rs 85 a litre and Rs 80 a litre respectively on Friday.