Fuel prices across the country have been increased to new all-time highs. Petrol in Mumbai today crossed the Rs 91 per litre mark, after a 24 paise rise to Rs 91.08 per litre. In other metro cities, petrol price per litre was hiked to Rs 83.73 in Delhi, Rs 87.05 in Chennai and Rs 85.33 in Kolkata. Diesel rates per litre were raised to Rs 79.72 in Mumbai, Rs 75.09 in Delhi, Rs 79.40 in Chennai and Rs 76.94 in Kolkata.
The rate of these petroleum products has been raised relentlessly since 15 August, without a single day of relief. Apart from the burden of international crude oil rates increasing and the higher foreign exchange currency valuation, the state and union government taxes have been weighing on the expenses of consumers across the country.
State governments of Rajasthan, West Bengal an Karnataka came forward to reduce the burden of state taxes on its residents, but there seems to be no ray of sunshine from the looming global rates.
Last week, Minister of petroleum and natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, said that the reduction in taxes would not help the consumers to a great extent because of the volatility in crude prices.
Global benchmark Brent rose to its four-year high on Monday to $83.27 a barrel, owing to the tensions from the US sanctions on Iran, that will be effective from 4 November. As the date approaches, major consumers of Iranian crude like India and China are reducing their imports from the country, putting pressure on the global supply.
ANZ bank said, "the market is eyeing oil prices at $100 per barrel", which means the investors are positioning itself for a further increase. Since January, crude prices have increased by 30 percent, while the rupee slumped by 15 paise.