Pocket pinch: Fuel prices hiked again across India within 19 days
16 May, 2018, 11:53
While today is the third consecutive day when prices of essential fuels were increased, there was no increase in the rates for a few weeks since April 24. The prices, that are expected to fluctuate every day since the Government brought in place dynamic pricing system for petrol and diesel, there was a lull for about 18 days.
Petrol now costs Rs 75.10 in Delhi a litre, Rs 77.79 in Kolkata, Rs 82.94 in Mumbai, Rs 77.93 in Chennai, Rs 76.31 in Bengaluru, and Rs 79.55 in Hyderabad. With this, the petrol prices now are at their highest level recorded since September 2013.
For the first time, diesel prices in the city will cross Rs. 70 per litre on Tuesday.
Petrol and diesel prices were raised on Monday after an unofficial 19-day freeze that mysteriously melted no sooner than the Karnataka polls had ended.
As per the Indian Oil Corp website, petrol price in Mumbai rose to Rs 82.65 a litre on Monday, while diesel prices reached Rs 70.43.
Rising crude oil, coupled with Indian government ruling out excise duty cuts and various states' being reluctant in reducing the Value-Added Tax on fuel prices, has left limited room for OMC to make any relaxation in the price of the product, especially diesel, which is now at a record high.
However, oil PSUs have no option but to increase the rates considering the rising price of crude oil globally. Oil PSUs that had kept rates unchanged for almost three weeks before Karnataka polls despite a spike in input cost, reverted to daily revision in prices as soon as the state voted to elect a new government on Saturday. Brent crude oil had touched $79.47 a barrel, its highest since November 2014, following concerns that U.S. sanctions on Iran are likely to restrict export of crude from one of the biggest producers in the Middle East.
Crude oil for delivery in May contract was trading lower by Rs 23 or 0.47 per cent at Rs 4,827 per barrel with a business volume of 5,030 lots at the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX).
Analysts said the fall in crude oil futures was mostly in tune with a weak trend in the global markets and profit-booking by speculators.
The BJP-led government had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then also cut the tax once in October a year ago by Rs 2 a litre.