Intertiol crude oil prices have been down over the past one-and-half years, touching a 12-year low of 27 dollars per barrel and hovering at around 33-35 dollars presently. But the benefits will not be passed on to Indian consumers, as the latest revision in fuel prices show. The Central government on Saturday hiked the excise duty on petrol by Rs 1 per litre and Rs 1.50 on diesel, the third increase this month itself. Ahead of the Union budget, this move will likely help mop up over Rs 3,200 crore in additiol revenue, netting Rs 17,000 crore overall in three months. This is expected to partly make up for the shortfall in disinvestment receipts and direct tax collections, with only two months left this fiscal. Crashing oil prices amid gloomy global economic outlook and continuing unrest in the Middle East is therefore giving valuable breathing space to the NDA government. The country’s oil import bill in the first eight months this fiscal declined by 42.39 percent to 61.41 billion dollars from 106.59 billion dollars. The Central and State governments as well as oil marketing companies have benefited hugely from the windfall; in turn, governments are hiking excise duty and sales tax to take further advantage before oil prices go up again. The ordiry consumer gets no relief from high fuel bills, forced to help out both the governments at the Centre and the State in balancing their books!