Petrol price cut by 20 paise; rates back at mid-August levels
Petrol price Sunday was cut by 20 paise a litre and diesel by 18 paise, the 29th straight daily reduction in rates that has wiped away all of the massive price increase in petrol witnessed in two months since mid-August that had triggered a political uproar. Petrol price in Delhi was cut to Rs 76.71 a litre from Rs 76.91 on Saturday, according to a price notification issued by state-owned fuel retailers. Diesel is being now sold at Rs 71.56 per litre as compared to Rs 71.74 on Saturday. With this, the reduction in rates in the last one month totals Rs 7.29 per litre for petrol and Rs 3.89 a litre for diesel. Rates have been on the decline since October 18. This has wiped out all of the price hike on petrol in two months beginning August 16 and more than half on diesel.
The reduction in diesel rates has been slower due to moderate fall in its benchmark international prices, according to oil company price notifications. Petrol price had touched a record high of Rs 84 per litre in Delhi and Rs 91.34 in Mumbai on October 4. Diesel on that day had peaked to an all-time high of Rs 75.45 a litre in Delhi and Rs 80.10 in Mumbai. Prices had started to climb from August 16. Petrol in Delhi was priced at Rs 77.14 per litre and in Mumbai it cost Rs 84.58 on August 15. Diesel on that day was priced at Rs 68.72 per litre in Delhi and at Rs 72.96 in Mumbai. Petrol in Mumbai Sunday cost Rs 82.28 per litre and diesel was priced at Rs 74.97. Between August 16 and October 4, petrol price was hiked by Rs 6.86 per litre and diesel by Rs 6.73. On that day, the government decided to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre each and asked state-owned fuel retailers to subsidise prices by another Re 1 a litre by reducing their margins. Many states including Maharashtra matched that with a reduction in local sales tax or VAT. Subsequent to this, the petrol price came down to Rs 81.50 per litre in Delhi and diesel to Rs 72.95 a litre on October 5. In Mumbai rates fell to Rs 86.97 per litre for petrol and Rs 77.45 in case of diesel. As the international oil prices continued to rise, price of petrol and diesel in Delhi increased to Rs 82.83 and Rs 75.69 on October 17. In Mumbai, rates touched Rs 88.29 a litre for petrol and Rs 79.35 for diesel. But since then, international oil prices have been falling and rupee has also appreciated, resulting in decline in retail rates. Industry source said as per the assessment, the retail prices of petrol and diesel may reign easy in the next few days. The retail selling price of petrol and diesel is dependent on the international prices of benchmark fuel and the rupee-US dollar exchange rate. This is because a large proportion of country’s requirement is met through imports.