Thanks to the fall in global oil rates and appreciation in the value of rupee against the US dollar, state-owned oil companies may reduce petrol prices by more than one rupee a litre sometime next week, a senior oil company official said.
However, diesel rates will go up by 50 paisa per litre in line with the practice of raising prices by small quantum every month to wipe away subsidy on the fuel.
The revised petrol and diesel prices may be announced on March 31.
Petrol and diesel prices were last revised on March 1 when rates where hiked by 60 paisa and 50 paisa respectively. Petrol currently costs Rs 73.16 a litre in Delhi while diesel is priced at Rs 55.48 per litre.
Since January 2013, diesel rates have risen by a cumulative Rs 8.33.
"Rupee has appreciated to Rs 60.50 to a US dollar from Rs 61.44 and simultaneously international gasoline rates have dipped from USD 118.09 per barrel to $115.73. The twin factors will lead to a reduction in petrol price on Monday," the official said.
Election Commissioner H S Brahma, who had earlier this month stated that government cannot discontinue the monthly increases in diesel prices as it would tantamount to populism, today said oil companies can revise petrol prices in line with the practice they have been following since June 2010.
Oil companies can revise petrol prices without coming to the Election Commission, he said.
The government, in June 2010, had given oil firms freedom to fix petrol prices on 1st and 16th of every month based on average global oil prices and foreign exchange rates in the preceding fortnight.
It had in January 2013 authorised oil firms to hike diesel prices by 40-50 paisa per litre every month till such time that the losses on the fuel are wiped out. Diesel prices have risen on 14 occasions since then.