On Saturday, fuel prices were raised for the 14th consecutive day. Diesel is now being sold at new highs in Indian cities and crossed the Rs 77 mark for the first time on Friday in Delhi after a 63 paise per litre hike.
Petrol prices per litre were raised by 51 paise to Rs 78.88 in New Delhi, Rs 85.70 in Mumbai, Rs 82.27 in Chennai, Rs 81.44 in Bengaluru and Rs 80.62 in Kolkata.
Diesel prices per litre were hiked by 61 paise to Rs 77.67 in New Delhi, Rs 76.11 in Mumbai, Rs 75.29 in Chennai, Rs 73.86 in Bengaluru and Rs 73.07 in Kolkata.
Fuel prices are revised by state-owned oil marketers on a daily basis, however, this revision was paused for 82 days amid the nationwide lockdown despite global crude oil prices falling to multi-year lows. These rates are based on international oil prices, forex rate and central, state/ local taxes.
Since 6 June, when the daily revision resumed, petrol price has been increased by Rs 7.62 per litre and diesel prices by Rs 8.28 per litre in two weeks.
Petrol and diesel prices had last seen record highs 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 Friday, Brent crude, the international benchmark for crude oil prices, closed at $42.19 a barrel on the last trading day of the week.
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 and slowdown in economic activity.
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, depleting consumption budgets of common households in the country.