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Fuel prices go up from today

Calcutta, Aug. 22: Struggling to mobilise funds to develop roads and transport infrastructure, the government today imposed a cess of Re 1 on every litre of petrol and diesel and Re 1 per kg of LPG used by commercial and industrial units.

The move will not affect domestic LPG consumers.

Finance minister Asim Dasgupta said the increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG would be effective from tomorrow. An Ordinance to this effect was promulgated yesterday. A litre of petrol would now cost Rs 30.44 and diesel Rs 19.43.

This is the first time that a cess has been imposed on petrol, diesel and LPG in Bengal.

Transport department sources said as the government order on the hike would be issued tomorrow, the sale of petrol and diesel at increased rates from a section of the fuel pumps on Thursday was illegal.

The government expects to net Rs 200 crore from the hike annually. With nearly five months past in the current fiscal, it hopes to mop up about Rs 120 crore. The cess would be collected directly from the oil companies by the office of the commercial tax commissioner.

“There is no question of any further hike in the fares of buses and taxis as the revised fare structure was drawn up keeping the imposition of the cess in mind,” Dasgupta said.

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