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Despite a Rs 3 excise duty raise per liter, this month's petrol and diesel prices got cheaper by Rs 2 a liter as crude oil remains stuck in a bearish phase. Today, state-run fuel retailers are cutting petrol prices by 16 paise/liters and diesel prices by 15 paise/liter. Had the government refused to increase excise duty to plug India's growing fiscal deficit, last week's fuel rate cut would have been much sharper. Despite softening crude oil levels, oil and diesel prices have sustained a decreasing trend as of February 27.