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Petrol, Diesel Prices Zoom to All-Time High; Chidambaram, Mamata Slam BJP Govt

Rates vary from state to state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or VAT. Prices in Delhi are the cheapest in all metros and most state capitals.

News18.com

Updated:May 20, 2018, 10:33 PM IST
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New Delhi: Petrol price on Sunday touched a record high of Rs 76.24 per litre and diesel climbed to its highest ever of Rs 67.57 as the oil PSUs passed on four weeks of relentless rise in international oil prices to consumers. Political parties grabbed the opportunity to slam the BJP government on the price rise with senior Congress leader P Chidambaram saying "this government is a one-trick pony" and it has "no plan other than tax and spend".

Petrol price on Sunday increased by 33 paisa a litre in Delhi — the highest since the daily price revision came into force in mid-June 2017, and diesel by 26 paisa, according to price notification issued by state-owned oil firms.

Rates vary from state to state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or VAT. Prices in Delhi are the cheapest in all metros and most state capitals.

With this increase, petrol has touched an all-time high, breaching the previous high of Rs 76.06 touched in Delhi on September 14, 2013. Diesel rates are also at the all-time high level.

Chidambaram tweeted, "Will central government return to governance and answer done questions? How long will they continue to hike prices of petrol and diesel? Why don't they cut excise duties?"

He said, "Why doesn't the BJP government bring petroleum products under GST?" adding, "This government is a one-trick pony. They have no plan other than 'tax and spend' regardless of the burden on the average consumer."

petrol-rate
Source: www.iocl.com

diesel-rate
Source: www.iocl.com

This is the seventh straight day of price increase since oil PSUs on May 14 resumed daily price revision after a 19-day pre-Karnataka poll hiatus. In all, petrol price has been raised by Rs 1.61 a litre and diesel by 1.64 in last one week.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also expressed deep concern over the sharp rise in petrol and diesel prices, saying it will affect common people.

"We are very concerned about the rising prices of petrol and diesel. This will certainly affect prices all around. Common people, farmers and many will suffer," Banerjee said on her official Twitter handle.

Petrol was the costliest in Mumbai where high local taxes has led to a price of Rs 84.07 per litre. Petrol has breached Rs 80 mark in Bhopal (Rs 81.83 a litre), Patna (Rs 81.73), Hyderabad (Rs 80.76) and Srinagar (Rs 80.35), according to the price notification.

Petrol in Kolkata costs Rs 78.91 per litre while it is priced at Rs 79.13 in Chennai. The cheapest petrol is available in Panjim where a litre comes for Rs 70.26.

Diesel is the costliest in Hyderabad were it is priced at Rs 73.45 a litre due to high local taxes. It is priced at Rs 73.34 in Trivandrum. Other cities where diesel rates have crossed Rs 70 mark are Raipur (Rs 72.96 a litre), Gandhinagar (Rs 72.63), Bhubhaneswar (Rs 72.43), Patna (Rs 72.24), Jaipur (Rs 71.97), Ranchi (Rs 71.35), Bhopal (Rs 71.12) and Srinagar (Rs 70.96)

A litre of diesel costs Rs 71.94 in Mumbai, Rs 70.12 in Kolkatta and Rs 71.32 in Chennai, the notification said. Diesel is the cheapest in Port Blair where it is priced at Rs 63.35.

On Friday, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg refused to say if the government will cut excise duty on auto fuel to ease the burden on consumers. The government is watching the situation developing from oil prices hitting $80 a barrel — the highest since November 2014, and adequate steps will be taken, is all he said without elaborating.

Asked if the government would cut excise duty on petrol and diesel, he had stated that he has nothing to say on that front. "Just watch."

The BJP-led government had raised excise duty nine times — totalling Rs 11.77 per litre on petrol and Rs 13.47 on diesel -- between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre.

No sooner had Karnataka polled to elect a new state government, state-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) on Monday ended a hiatus in revising petrol and diesel prices that began on April 25 and reverted to the 11-month old practices of changing rates on a daily basis.



Oil PSUs are estimated to have lost about Rs 500 crore on absorbing higher cost resulting from the spike in international oil rates and fall in rupee against the US dollar during the nearly three week hiatus.

The benchmark international rate for petrol, used for revising rate on April 24, had gone up from $78.84 per barrel to $84.97 on May 14. It has further risen to $84.97, indicating more daily hikes would be needed to level retail price with cost.

Similarly, benchmark international diesel rates during this period have climbed from $84.68 per barrel to $90.28 pr barrel. Also, the rupee has weakened to Rs 67.27 per US dollar from Rs 66.62, making imports costlier.

(With PTI inputs)

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