Fuel prices were hiked again on Saturday for the tenth time in 12 days.
Since the revision in fuel prices began on March 22, petrol and diesel rates have increased by Rs 7.20 per litre, reported PTI. Fuel prices vary in states due to different value added tax and freight charges.
Petrol and diesel prices were increased by 80 paise per litre in Delhi. Petrol now costs Rs 102.61 per litre in the national Capital and diesel Rs 93.87.
In Mumbai, petrol and diesel prices were increased by 85 paise per litre, reported ANI. Petrol is priced at Rs 117.57 and diesel at Rs 101.79 per litre.
A litre of petrol in Chennai costs Rs 108.21 per litre and diesel Rs 98.28 after a hike of 76 paise. In Kolkata, petrol costs Rs 112.19 after an increase of 84 paise, and diesel Rs 97.02 per litre following an 80-paise hike.
Opposition leaders have criticised the hike in fuel prices, with the Congress protesting on Thursday.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, and the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge had taken part in the agitation held in Delhi’s Vijay Chowk.
The Congress has also planned district-level protests against inflation between Saturday and April 4, and state-level demonstrations on April 7.
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.
Ahead of the recent Assembly polls in five states this year, fuel rates had been on a freeze since November 4. This was also the period in which the cost of crude oil had 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.