Petrol price may be hiked by about Re 1 a litre and diesel by 50 paise a litre by this weekend as oil firms begin to exercise the recently accorded freedom to adjust rates in step with cost.
State-owned oil firms are losing Rs. 1.32 a litre on petrol as international oil rates have firmed up during the last two weeks. They intend to pass on most of the loss to consumer at the next review due on February 15.
Also, diesel prices may be increased by 40-50 paise a litre in line with the freedom given by the government last month to raise rates of the country's most consumed fuel in small dozes every month till such time that the Rs. 9.22 a litre loss is completely wiped out.
"Gasoline (petrol) prices in international market are rising. The trend shows that we will have under-recoveries (losses) on petrol," said RS Butola, chairman of Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest fuel retailer.
"We will review the prices at the fortnightly review (due on February 15)," he said.
"We won't say there is no possibility (of a price increase) but I cannot say what we will decide in that review."