On Tuesday, fuel prices across the country were raised for the tenth consecutive day even as international crude oil prices remained subdued.
Petrol price per litre was raised to Rs 76.73 in New Delhi, Rs 73.75 in Mumbai, Rs 73.21 in Chennai, Rs 79.65 in Hyderabad, Rs 79.22 in Bengaluru and Rs 78.55 in Kolkata.
Diesel price per litre was hiked to Rs 75.19 in New Delhi, Rs 73.21 in Mumbai, Rs 72.69 in Chennai, Rs 73.49 in Hyderabad, Rs 71.49 in Bengaluru and Rs 70.84 in Kolkata.
Since 7 June, after ending their 82-day hiatus in daily revision, state-owned oil marketing companies have increased fuel prices by over Rs 5 per litre. These prices are close to levels last seen in October-November 2018 when international oil prices had spiked close to $80 per barrel. In October 2018, petrol price in Mumbai had crossed Rs 90-mark and in Delhi, it was around Rs 83 per litre.
Comparatively, on Tuesday, Brent crude, the international benchmark for crude oil prices, was trading at $39.58 a barrel over concerns that a rise of new coronavirus infections seen around the world would reduce demand for fuel. COVID-19 infections have crossed the 8 million mark worldwide.
The present spike in fuel prices in India could be attributed to the fact that central and state governments, along with oil marketing companies are looking to make up for their loss in revenues due to the lockdown.
Last month, the central government had increased the excise duty on per litre of petrol by Rs 10 and per litre of diesel by Rs 13. Several state governments have also hiked their VAT or cess on fuel in the last month. In fact, now around 70 percent of the retail price of fuel is just some form of tax.