Petrol and diesel prices were hiked for the fifth consecutive day on Saturday as oil marketing companies raised the price of diesel by year-high level of 36 paise per litre and petrol by another 30 paise per litre in Delhi, reported News 18. With this, petrol now costs Rs 88.44 a litre and diesel Rs 78.74 a litre in the national Capital.

Petrol prices saw an increase ranging between 25-30 paise per litre and diesel between 30-40 paise per litre across the country, depending on the level of local taxes on the fuels.

In Mumbai, petrol prices was just Rs 5 short of touching Rs 100 per litre for the first time anywhere in the country. Diesel prices in the city were closing on to Rs 90 a litre. In all other metros, petrol is either over Rs 90 per litre mark or just a little below that level, while diesel is over Rs 80 a litre except in Delhi.

The hike came amid firm global prices with Brent crude gaining over 2% on a single day to cross $62 (approximately Rs 4,500) per barrel. However, experts said that fresh coronavirus lockdown in various parts of the world may push down the prices soon.

The fuel prices have increased 17 times in 2021 with petrol rising by Rs 4.73 and diesel by Rs 4.87 per litre so far in this year. The last time the retail price of the fuels were closer to current levels was on October 4, 2018, when crude prices had climbed to $80 (approximately Rs 5,807) a barrel.

The hike in prices is largely on account of a steep increase in central taxes of petrol and diesel and firm crude prices. New agriculture infrastructure and development cess have been imposed by the Centre. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has also ruled out any cut in duty on petro products.

Oil companies executives have said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further as retail prices would need to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent companies from making loss on sale of auto fuels.