Delhi: Diesel is coatlier than petrol
Photo Credit: ANI

Diesel was always much cheaper than petrol in India because it is regarded as the farmer's fuel. It is meant for running tractors, agricultural implements and irrigation pumps. But not on Wednesday all that changed, at least in the NCR region. For the first time, diesel was costlier, selling at Rs 79.88 a litre, as against petrol, which was quoted at Rs 79.76 a litre. Diesel price was raised by 48 paise on Wednesday while petrol was spared any hike. The prices of both fuels have been hiked for the last 17 days on the trot.

The cumulative hike in diesel has been Rs 9.58 a litre in the 18-day period, as against a cumulative hike of of Rs 9.41 litre in the case of petrol. Contrast this with the prices in June 2014 when PM Modi took over from the UPA Government. Diesel was then selling at Rs 22.74 a litre and petrol at Rs 35.71 a litre. When crude oil prices slumped early this year, the Congress wanted the government to roll back prices of diesel and petrol to 2014 level. Petrol is, however, still costlier elsewhere in India, though diesel is inching closer. The gap is most narrow in Ahmedabad where diesel was selling on Wednesday at Rs 77.18 a litre, as against petrol at Rs 77.22 a litre. Here are rates per litre in some cities:

PETROL / DIESEL

Mumbai 77.62/ 67.75

Pune 86.41/ 76.42

Chennai 83.05/ 77.18

Kolkata 81.45/ 75.06

Chandigarh 76.76/ 71.40

Punjab 80.90/ 73.29

Jammu 80.14/ 72.44

Srinagar 83.18/ 74.59

Goa 68.79/ 65.76

Bhopal 87.33// 79.28

Jaipur 86.61 80.64

The consistent increase is said to be on account of oil companies revising prices of fuel on a daily basis. The ssale of fuel had dropped drastically mid-March onwards when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the entire country under lockdown. However, since mid-May, demand for fuel has been on the rise, as the government eased some lockdown regulations, allowing businesses to restart. During the lockdown period, the demand for petrol and diesel had fallen by 61 per cent and 56.7 per cent, respectively. The demand for jet fuel faced an even severe decline of over 91%, as both domestic and international flight operations were shut down.

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