Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged on Wednesday after touching new highs in the previous session.
Petrol and diesel prices in Delhi stayed at Rs 90.93 and Rs 81.32 per litre, respectively, according to a price notification from oil marketing companies (OMCs). Fuel prices in Mumbai too remained constant with petrol and diesel being sold at Rs 97.34 and Rs 88.44 per litre, respectively.
In Chennai and Kolkata, petrol is selling at Rs 92.90 and Rs 91.12 per litre, and diesel at Rs 86.31 and Rs 84.20 per litre, respectively.
Fuel prices had risen for 12 straight days before hitting a two-day pause on 21 and 22 February. The increase follows a spurt in oil prices in the international market, which India depends on to meet its 85 per cent of crude oil needs.
Brent oil crossed $66 a barrel on Tuesday as US output was slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut production last week. Petrol prices have been raised by Rs 4.63 per litre in February and by Rs 7.22 in 2021. Diesel rates have gone up by Rs 4.84 a litre in February and by Rs 7.45 in 2021.
Petrol price has already surged past the Rs-100 mark in some places in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which levy the highest value-added tax (VAT) on the fuel.
Retail pump prices differ from state to state depending on the local taxes (VAT) and freight. The increase in fuel prices has been criticised by opposition parties such as the Congress who have said that the Narendra Modi government should have cut excise duty to ease consumer pain.
The Modi government had raised taxes to scoop out the benefit that arose from international oil rates plunging to a two-decade low in April/May last year. While global rates have rebounded with a pick-up in demand, the government has not restored the taxes, which are at a record high. Central and state taxes make up for 60 per cent of the retail selling price of petrol and over 54 per cent of that of diesel.
(With inputs from agencies)