Petrol and diesel prices on Tuesday were hiked across the country after a pause of 18 days as state-owned fuel retailers started passing on the increase in international oil prices to consumers after an 18-day hiatus.
Rates have been increased across the country and vary from state to state depending on the local incidence of taxation (VAT).
Fuel prices in metros
In the national capital, petrol prices were hiked by 15 paise per litre, while diesel prices went up by 18 paise per litre.
Currently, the price of petrol in Delhi stands at Rs 90.55 per litre, and diesel at Rs 80.91 per litre.
Fuel prices remain the highest in Mumbai at Rs 96.95 per litre for petrol and 87.98 per litre for diesel. Both the fuels have seen a hike of 12 paise and 17 paise, respectively.
In Kolkata, petrol and diesel were sold for Rs 90.76 per litre and Rs 83.78 respectively on May 4. Meanwhile on May 3, in Kolkata, petrol and diesel were available for Rs 90.62 per litre and Rs 83.61, respectively.
In Chennai, petrol and diesel were sold for Rs 92.55 and Rs 85.90 respectively on Tuesday. However, for the last 18 days, petrol and diesel were charged at Rs 92.43 and Rs 85.75 per litre, respectively.
Prices of the two fuels vary across the country depending on state levies. The oil marketing companies had last raised prices on February 23. For the last 18 days, the companies had not made any changes in the price.
Oil companies, who have in recent months resorted to unexplained freeze in rate revision, had hit a pause button after cutting prices marginally on April 15. This coincided with electioneering hitting peak to elect new governments in five states including West Bengal.
No sooner had voting ended, oil companies indicated an impending increase in retail prices in view of firming trends in international oil markets.
Crude prices up
Despite the concerns about rising COVID-19 cases in India denting demand, crude oil prices in the international market have risen primarily on account of strong US demand recovery and a weak dollar.
Prices have been on a continuous uptrend since April 27, an industry official said adding Dubai crude oil price has risen by USD 2.91 per barrel.
It is expected that the crude oil prices in the international market will remain firm in the near future, exerting upward pressure, he said.
State-owned fuel retailers -- Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) -- are supposed to revise rates daily based on input cost.
The April 15 cut of 16 paise a litre on petrol and 14 paise on diesel was the fourth reduction since March 24. In four reductions since March 24, petrol price was cut by 67 paise and diesel by 74 paise.
This reduction was compared to a Rs 21.58 per litre increase in price of petrol since the government raised excise duty in March last year. Diesel prices had increased by Rs 19.18 a litre.
Central and state taxes make up for 60 percent of the retail selling price of petrol and over 54 per cent of diesel. The union government levies Rs 32.90 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 31.80 on diesel.