Udayavni Special

Petrol price nears all-time high after oil companies hike rates after month-long hiatus


PTI, Jan 6, 2021, 4:54 PM IST

Image Credit: Pixaby

New Delhi: Petrol price on Wednesday neared all-time high after state-owned fuel retailers hiked rates after a nearly month-long hiatus.

Petrol price was raised by 26 paise per litre and diesel by 25 paise a litre, according to a price notification from oil marketing companies.

After this increase, petrol in Delhi climbed to Rs 83.97 per litre from Rs 83.71 previously. Diesel rates rose to Rs 74.12 per litre from Rs 73.87. In Mumbai, diesel touched an all-time high of Rs 80.78.

This is the first price revision in nearly a month and rates are now near an all-time high. Highest ever rate of Rs 84 a litre for petrol in Delhi was touched on October 4, 2018. Diesel too had scaled to an all-time high of Rs 75.45 a litre on October 4, 2018.

On that day, the government cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre in a bid to ease inflationary pressure and boost consumer confidence.

Alongside, state-owned fuel retailers cut prices by another Re 1 a litre, which they recouped later. However no tax cut is under consideration as of present, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Though petrol and diesel rates are to be revised on a daily basis in line with benchmark international price and foreign exchange, government-controlled fuel retailers have been moderating rates since the pandemic broke out.

They first did not pass on to the customers a reduction in price warranted from the slump in international oil rates witnessed due to demand erosion beginning March 2020.

While they promptly passed on an increase in sales tax by state governments such as the one in Delhi, they adjusted a steep increase in excise duty by the central government against the reduction in retail price warranted.

The government raised excise duty by Rs 13 per litre on petrol and by Rs 15 a litre on diesel in two instalments in March 2020 and May 2020 to garner additional revenue of Rs 1.6 lakh crore.

That adjustment of rate revision against excise duty hike resulted in a 52-day status quo in prices between March 17, 2020, and June 6, 2020.

This was followed by no change in rates between June 30, 2020, and August 15, 2020, and 58-day hiatus in petrol price revision and 48-day status quo on diesel rates from September 22, 2020, and October 2, 2020, respectively.

Rates were again frozen after last revision on December 7, 2020. Since May 2020, petrol price has risen by Rs 14.28 per litre and diesel by Rs 11.83 a litre, price notifications of oil companies showed.

When petrol scaled its highest levels in Delhi on October 4, 2018, the fuel touched a new high of Rs 91.34 in Mumbai. On Wednesday it costs Rs 90.60 a litre in Mumbai.

Diesel in Mumbai on Wednesday at Rs 80.78 a litre is higher than the October 4, 2018 rate of Rs 80.10.

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