Automobile fuel prices in the country continued to deepen the hole in commuters’ pockets on Thursday, as the oil marketing companies raised petrol and diesel rates for 10th consecutive day. While the petrol price was hiked by 34 paise per litre, diesel price was raised by 32 paise a litre.
While branded or additive-laced petrol, which attracts higher taxes, had crossed the Rs 100-mark in some places in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Rajasthan, regular petrol crossed the physiological mark in Sriganganagar town of Rajasthan on Wednesday, and on Thursday it went past that mark in Madhya Pradesh.
In Sriganganagar, petrol price soared to Rs 100.49 a litre, while diesel is priced at Rs 92.47 per litre. The record price in Rajasthan is despite the state government late last month cutting VAT on petrol and diesel by 2 per cent.
In MP’s Anuppur region, petrol is priced at Rs 100.25 per litre and diesel at Rs 90.35.
Fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges. Rajasthan levies the highest value-added tax (VAT) on petrol in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh.
With this increase, petrol in Delhi is now priced at Rs 89.88 a litre and diesel Rs 80.27 a litre.
In Mumbai, petrol prices are just Rs 4 per litre short (Rs 96.32 a litre) of touching the three-digit mark of Rs 100 per litre for the very first time ever. Diesel prices in the city are closing on Rs 90 a litre (Rs 87.32 a litre).
In all other metros, petrol is over Rs 90 a litre mark while diesel is well over Rs 80 a litre.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had on Wednesday blamed output cut by oil-producing nations for the rally in international oil prices that have translated into higher retail rates in India.
The minister urged Saudi Arabia and other global oil producers to ease production cuts, saying rising international oil prices are hurting economic recovery and demand.
International oil prices have been on the boil since Saudi Arabia pledged additional voluntary output cuts of 1 million barrels per day in February and March under a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+.
This has resulted in oil prices rising to $63 per barrel, the highest level in more than a year.
Oil companies executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making loss on sale of auto fuels.
Since mid-March 2020, the retail petrol rates have risen by Rs 20.29 per litre, after the government raised taxes by a record margin to mop up gains arising from fall in international oil prices. Diesel rates have gone up by Rs 17.98.
Central and state taxes make up for 60 per cent of the retail selling price of petrol and over 54 per cent of diesel. The union government levies Rs 32.90 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 31.80 a litre on diesel.