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


Petrol price in Delhi climbed to ₹83.97 per litre from ₹83.71 previously; diesel rates rose to ₹74.12 per litre from ₹73.87

Petrol price on January 6 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 ₹83.97 per litre from ₹83.71 previously.

Diesel rates rose to ₹74.12 per litre from ₹73.87. In Mumbai, diesel touched an all-time high of ₹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 ₹84 a litre for petrol in Delhi was touched on October 4, 2018. Diesel too had scaled to an all-time high of ₹75.45 a litre on October 4, 2018.

On that day, the government cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by ₹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 January 6.

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 ₹13 per litre on petrol and by ₹15 a litre on diesel in two instalments in March 2020 and May 2020 to garner additional revenue of ₹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 ₹14.28 per litre and diesel by ₹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 ₹91.34 in Mumbai. On January 6 it costs ₹90.60 a litre in Mumbai.

Diesel in Mumbai on January 6 at ₹80.78 a litre is higher than the October 4, 2018 rate of ₹80.10.

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