After two rounds of rate cuts last month, petrol price was on Monday hiked by 70 paise per litre on firming international oil rates.
Petrol in Delhi will cost Rs. 68.48 per litre with effect from midnight tonight as compared to Rs. 67.78 a litre now, state-owned oil companies announced on Monday.
The marginal hike in rate follows reductions last month -- Rs. 2.02 per litre on June 3 and Rs. 2.46 a litre on June 29. The twin price cuts followed the massive Rs. 7.54 per litre increase in rates, the biggest in the history, effected in May.
Monday's increase was "necessitated due to increasing international oil prices and movement in INR-dollar exchange rate," Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest fuel retailer, said in a statement.
Average price of Indian basket of crude is $ 101.28 per barrel while international petrol price is $111.59 a barrel. The Rupee-dollar exchange rate is around Rs. 55.36 to a dollar.
"At these levels, the oil companies are incurring losses of about Rs. 1.41 per litre on petrol sales in the domestic market. However, as the price movement is quite volatile, it has been decided that an increase of Rs. 0.70 per litre ..," it said.
In Mumbai, petrol price has raised by Rs. 0.88 to Rs. 74.24 per litre, while it will cost Rs. 73.61 a litre in Kolkata from Tuesday compared to Rs. 72.74 per litre currently. Chennai saw a hike of Rs. 0.89 per litre in price to Rs. 73.16 a litre.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today slammed the latest hike of petrol price "without consulting allies" and
demanded its immediate rollback till a long-term policy evolves after consulting all political parties.
"We have learnt from news reports that there has been a fresh hike in petrol prices. We do not support this. We are deeply unhappy. TC will protest it," Banerjee said.
She said "we think that instead of putting burden on the common people this way, a specific long-term policy should be evolved after consulting all political parties in this regard."
The Trinamool Congress chief said such a hike in the price was done without consulting the UPA allies. TC opposes this and will take it up with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she said.
"Until a long-term police is evolved, the present hike in the petrol price should be withdrawn," Banerjee said.