Petrol and diesel prices continued to swell for the 14th day in a row on Saturday. With the latest hike, a litre of petrol now costs Rs 78.88 in the national capital, while diesel is priced at Rs 77.67 per litre.
Prices of petrol and diesel have risen by Rs 7.62 per litre and Rs 8.28 per litre, respectively, in Delhi over the past two weeks since Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) restarted the revision of fuel prices on June 07 after an 82-day long hiatus
This is the sharpest hike recorded in fuel prices over a duration of two weeks ever since the daily revision of retail prices began in June 2017. This comes at a time when global crude oil prices have remained low.
Interestingly, when crude prices had seen an uptick in mid-2018 after remaining significantly low for more than four years, the retail price of petrol had increased by Rs 7.18 per litre over a span two months (August-September). It was during this time that retail fuel prices reached unprecedented highs on the back of rising crude and high excise duties.
Another factor behind the recent hike is the increase in central excise duty on fuel. The Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre had increased the excise duty by a record Rs 10 per litre on petrol and Rs 13 per litre on diesel early last month even as crude oil prices plunged to historic lows due to a sharp fall in global demand in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The duty on petrol rose to Rs 32.98 per litre while it was increased to Rs 31.83 per litre on diesel. At that time, the OMCs had absorbed the hike, which meant that retail prices remain unchanged. The OMCs began to pass on the burden to the consumers from June 07 onwards.
Diesel prices had also seen a single day hike of Rs 7.1 per litre in the national capital last month after Delhi government hiked state VAT on fuel. Petrol prices had also risen by Rs 1.67 per litre on the same day.
At 14 days as on Saturday, the latest spell of consecutive hikes is the fourth-longest since the daily revision of prices began three years ago.
In 2017, petrol prices in the national capital had increased for 34 days straight between July 27 and August 29. However, the overall hike was relatively lower at Rs 4.55 per litre.
Diesel prices, on the other hand, had seen back-to-back hikes for 48 successive days between December 14, 2017, and January 30, 2018, in the longest recorded spell till date. The overall hike stood at Rs 5.68 per litre.