The surge in fuel prices breached a record high of Rs 76.24 per litre on Sunday and diesel climbed to its highest ever level of Rs 67.57 as the oil PSUs passed on four weeks of relentless rise in global oil prices to consumers. The government has now assured that it will try to work out a solution soon.
Meanwhile the government said the increase in fuel prices was due to reduced production of oil in Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and hike in crude oil price in the international market.
“It’s not in our hand. There is less production of oil in OPEC countries. The government will soon come out with a solution,” Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters in Delhi, adding the surging fuel prices have negative impact on consumers and the Indian economy.
With global crude prices soaring, the minister has already pressed OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia to keep prices stable and moderate, saying that spike in rates would have a negative impact on Indian consumers as well as on the economy.
Pradhan had conveyed India’s concerns when Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih called him recently.
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.
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.
In India, petrol is the costliest in Mumbai where high local taxes has led 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 Kolkatta 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.
The benchmark international rate for petrol, used for revising rate on April 24, had gone up from USD 78.84 per barrel to USD 84.97 on May 14. It has further risen to USD 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 USD 84.68 per barrel to USD 90.28 pr barrel. Also, the rupee has weakened to Rs 67.27 per US dollar from Rs 66.62, making imports costlier.
(With inputs from PTI)