Fuel price rise in the country went on a pause mode on Wednesday as oil marketing companies (OMCs) kept the pump rate of petrol and diesel unchanged after raising it continuously for past two days.
Accordingly, the pump prices of petrol and diesel remained at Rs 94.49 and Rs 85.38 per litre respectively in Delhi on Wednesday. In the city of Mumbai, where petrol prices crossed Rs 100 mark for the first time ever on Saturday, the fuel price remains at new high of Rs 100.72 per litre. Diesel price also continues to be at Rs 92.69 a litre, the highest among metros. Across the country as well petrol and diesel prices remained static on Wednesday but the retail prices varied depending on the level of local taxes in different states.
Mumbai is not the only city to have unique distinction of petrol breaching Rs 100 per litre mark. Thane reached the mark few days back while few other cities in Rajasthan (including Jaipur) Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, having the highest VAT levels on auto fuels in the country, have already been selling normal petrol for over Rs 100 a litre for past several days.
Ganganagar in Rajasthan has the highest level of petrol price at Rs 105.52 a litre while diesel price there as well is closing on the century mark remaining at Rs 98.32 a litre. While Rajasthan in general has high retail prices of fuels due to high VAT rates, Sri Ganganagar, a small city in the state near the India-Pakistan border, has the most expensive auto fuel in the country due to higher freight it had to pay to get fuel at stations. Premium petrol price has already crossed the Rs 100 per litre mark in several parts of the country through increase in the retail rates in the month of January and February. With Wednesday’s price revision pause, fuel prices have now increased on 17 days and remained unchanged on 16 days since May 1. The 17 increases have taken up petrol prices by Rs 4.09 per litre in Delhi. Similarly, diesel price has increased by Rs 4.66 per litre in the national capital.
Under daily price revision, OMCs revise petrol and diesel prices every morning benchmarking retail fuel prices to a 15-day rolling average of global refined products’ prices and dollar exchange rate. However, in a market where fuel prices need to be increased successively, oil companies this month have been holding back price rise on few days before starting the process all over again.
IANS had written earlier that OMCs may begin increasing the retail price of petrol and diesel post state elections as they were incurring losses to the tune of Rs 2-3 per litre by holding the price line despite higher global crude and product prices. With global crude prices rising again to around $70 a barrel mark, OMCs may have to keep revising prices upwards for some more time.