The Centre on Saturday blamed external factors for the rise in fuel prices. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said strengthening of the dollar and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries were responsible for the surge, ANI reported.

“Today, Indian currency is stronger than ever compared to all other currencies,” Pradhan claimed. “But how do we purchase oil? Through US dollars. Today the dollar is, in a way, world’s biggest exchange currency. That is creating a problem for us.”

He also blamed OPEC countries for not meeting their petroleum production targets. “OPEC countries had assured the world that they would produce one million metric tons per day of crude oil from July 1,” Pradhan said. “The target has not been complied with as per the statistics for July and August. These factors are not in India’s hands.”

On Saturday, petrol cost Rs 80.38 per litre in Delhi, 38 paise higher than on Friday. The price of diesel rose from Rs 72.07 per litre on Friday to Rs 72.51 on Saturday. In Mumbai, the price of petrol increased 38 paise to Rs 87.77 per litre on Saturday. Diesel cost Rs Rs 76.98 per litre, 47 paise higher than on Friday.

In Kolkata, petrol was priced at Rs 83.27 per litre, 39 paise costlier than on Friday. Diesel cost Rs 75.36 per litre, an increase of 44 paise. Chennai too saw a rise in fuel prices. On Saturday, petrol was priced at Rs 83.54 per litre, 41 paise higher than on Friday. The price of a litre of diesel rose from Rs 76.17 to Rs 76.64.