Petrol, diesel prices at record highs
After a two-day pause, state-run oil companies (OMCs) again raised petrol and diesel rates by 26 paise per litre and 33 paise a litre, respectively. Petrol is retailing at ₹91.53 per litre and diesel at ₹82.06 a litre, an all-time high, in Delhi.
Parbhani (Maharashtra) joined Ganganagar (Rajasthan) and Anuppur (Madhya Pradesh) where petrol prices have crossed ₹100 per litre mark due to state-specific taxes, cess and other local levies.
Petrol in Parbhani was priced at ₹100.20 a litre.
Petrol is costlier by ₹1.13 per litre and diesel by ₹1.33 a litre in just five rounds of price hike in less than a week since May 4, a day after results of assembly polls were declared. The upward revision of fuel rates would have varying impact of pump prices across the country because of different state and local levies.
According to Indian Oil Corp. (IOC), petrol and diesel are being sold at ₹97.86 per litre and ₹89.17 a litre, respectively, in Mumbai on Monday. Fuels are priced at ₹91.66 per litre (petrol) and ₹84.90 a litre (diesel) in Kolkata, and ₹93.38 per litre (petrol) and ₹86.96 a litre (diesel) in Chennai.
State-run fuel retailers are compelled to hike petrol and diesel rates now as they have to recover their past revenue losses for not raising fuel prices during the assembly elections in four states and one Union territory, two executives working in different OMCs said, requesting anonymity.
Retail prices of petrol and diesel did not see any upward movement for 66 days in a row a day after the Election Commission announced poll dates on February 26. Companies had, however, reduced fuel rated four times during this period, bringing down pump price of petrol by 77 paise per litre and diesel by 74 paise a litre.
Besides, international oil prices are constantly moving north and the same is also factored in retail prices of fuels in India, the executives said. Pump prices of petrol and diesel in India are aligned to their international benchmarks and often move in tandem. Benchmark Brent crude was hovering around $69.20 a barrel on Monday intraday trade, about 1.34% up from Friday closing of $68.28.
Fuel prices in India are also high because of high central and state taxes. Central and state levies account for the chunk of the retail price of fuel—in Delhi for instance, central levies account for over 36% of petrol’s retail price, and state levies, 23% but given the parlous state of the economy, especially in the midst of the raging second wave of the coronavirus disease pandemic, it is unlikely that those will be reduced.