The Indian Oil Corporation on Wednesday announced price cuts for petrol and diesel of just one paisa a litre each, attributing the reductions it had made earlier to a “clerical error”, PTI reported.
After increasing fuel prices for 16 consecutive days, the company had announced on its website that petrol prices would be lower by 60 paise a litre and diesel by 56 paise on Wednesday. However, both rates were later revised to reflect a price cut of only one paisa a litre.
In New Delhi, a litre of petrol will cost Rs 78.42 and a litre of diesel Rs 69.30 while customers will have to pay Rs 86.23 per litre for petrol and Rs 73.78 for diesel in Mumbai. Petrol prices in Kolkata and Chennai were set at Rs 81.05 and Rs 81.42 per litre, while diesel prices there were Rs 71.85 and Rs 73.17.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the price revisions were “childish and in poor taste”. “A one paisa cut is not a suitable response to the ‘fuel challenge’ I threw you last week,” he said in a tweet addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
State-run oil companies had resumed the dynamic pricing mechanism on May 14 after prices were froze for 19 days between April 24 and May 13, when campaigning was on for the Karnataka Assembly elections.
International crude oil prices had risen during this period, while the rupee fell against the United States dollar – both factors make fuel costlier. Oil companies are estimated to have lost about Rs 500 crore because of the price freeze for three weeks, PTI reported.
On Wednesday, oil prices dropped to about $75 a barrel after Saudi Arabia and Russia announced their decision to relax restrictions on supply that had led to an increase in crude prices, Reuters reported.
On May 24, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan had said the Centre is considering bringing petroleum products under the purview of the Goods and Services Tax. Earlier, he had said the Centre is deliberating on an “immediate solution” to control rising fuel prices.