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In a tweet, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley for cutting petrol and diesel prices and said it will provide "huge relief" to the common man.

Responding to a query about state governments following suit with similar tax cuts, Jaitley said that this measure would be a "a test for all state governments, especially those whose leaders have been demanding cuts while paying lip service to people".

"Reciprocating positively to FM's announcement, the Govt Of Gujarat has also chose to reduce Rs 2.50 on both petrol & diesel".

All the cuts will be effective from midnight, as clarified by Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, finance secretary.

Petrol, diesel prices across the country scaled new heights on Thursday, with diesel prices reaching Rs 80.10 per litre and petrol reaching Rs 91.34 per litre in Mumbai. "We are happy to reduce prices of fuel as much as announced by the Centre", Kesarkar said.

It is only the worldwide factors, primarily rising prices of crude and domestic policy and other measures like the interest rate hike by the USA, which have affected India, Jaitley said adding domestic indicators were strong and stable.

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Mr Jaitley expressed hope that the states will reduce state tax on fuel along with centre's move. Fuel prices are not uniform across the country due to variable state taxes.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday cut petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre with immediate effect, providing some relief from rising fuel prices. State-run refiners will also cut the price they charge by 1 rupee per litre.

Brent, the benchmark for more than half the world's oil, has touched United States dollars 86 per barrel mark, the highest in four years.

This rapid tax escalation more than doubled its excise collections from petro goods in the last four years - from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,29,019 crore in 2017-18.

Surjewala said the government must also answer to the people for hiking central excise duty on 12 occasions, raising the central excise on petrol by 211 pc and on diesel by 443 pc. States saw their Value-Added Tax revenue from petro goods rise from Rs 1,37,157 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,84,091 crore in 2017-18.