Petrol and diesel prices were hiked again on Tuesday for the seventh time in the last eight days.
While the price of petrol was increased by 80 paise a litre, the diesel rate rose by 70 paise per litre, reported PTI.
Since the revision in fuel prices began on March 22, petrol and diesel rates have jumped by Rs 4.80 per litre. Fuel prices vary in states due to different value added tax and freight charges.
A litre of petrol will cost Rs 100.21, while diesel will be sold at Rs 91.47 in Delhi, a price notification of Indian state fuel retailers showed.
In Mumbai, India’s financial capital, the price of petrol rose to Rs 115.04 per litre, while diesel rate went up to Rs 99.25. Fuel rates are still the highest in Mumbai among all the metro cities.
The price of petrol in Chennai is Rs 105.94, while diesel cost Rs 96. In Kolkata, a litre of petrol rose to Rs 109.68, while diesel rates increased to Rs 94.62.
On Monday, Opposition members of the Lok Sabha raised the matter of consistent hike in prices of petrol and diesel. Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Trinamool Congress’ Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader TR Baalu shouted slogans demanding a reduction in fuel rates.
“My argument was that prices of petroleum products including cooking gas have been increasing relentlessly,” Chowdhury told The Indian Express. “Adding fuel to the fire, the government is also going to raise the prices of essential medicines. This shows the government’s anti-people, anti-poor mindset.”
When the newspaper asked the Congress leader about the Centre holding the Russia-Ukraine conflict responsible for the price hike, he said, “The truth is India is importing only less than 5% of its crude oil from Russia. So this argument does not hold water.”
Ahead of the Assembly polls in five states, fuel rates had been on a freeze since November 4. This was also the period in which the cost of crude oil surged by nearly $30 per barrel. Oil firms had not revised fuel prices for 137 days despite the substantial increase in global oil prices.
On March 24, Moody’s Investors Services said that the three state-owned fuel retailers – Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd – incurred losses of around $2.25 billion (Rs 19,000 crore) in revenue for keeping petrol and diesel prices on hold during Assembly polls.
While fuel prices in India are regulated by oil marketing companies, it has often been observed that the rates remain unchanged during elections and are hiked after the result day.
For 18 days in March and April last year, the prices of petrol and diesel remained unchanged as four states and a Union Territory went to polls. However, after the results were announced on May 2, the prices rose steadily to hit record levels.
On March 8, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri had said that there was a “war-like situation” and that oil marketing companies would take that into account.
He had denied that oil price hikes had been stalled due to Assembly elections in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.