On Tuesday, fuel prices in India were raised for the second straight day by state-owned oil marketing companies, hitting new all-time highs.
Petrol price per litre was raised by 25 paise to Rs 85.20 in New Delhi, Rs 86.63 in Kolkata, Rs 91.80 in Mumbai and Rs 87.85 in Chennai.
Diesel price per litre was also up by 25 paise to Rs 75.38 in New Delhi, Rs 78.97 in Kolkata, Rs 82.13 in Mumbai and Rs 80.67 in Chennai.
Retail prices of both the fuels have surged to the highest ever in the National Capital Region (NCR). After holding the retail price of petrol steady for 29 days, oil marketing companies in India started increasing prices in January.
Though petrol and diesel rates are to be revised on a daily basis in line with benchmark international price and foreign exchange, government-controlled fuel retailers have been moderating rates since the pandemic broke out.
On Monday, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said that fuel prices have gone up because of lower production in oil-producing nations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pradhan said this lower production had caused an imbalance in demand and supply.
"Oil-producing countries stopped production or reduced it during the coronavirus epidemic. A pressure on fuel prices was seen due to this imbalance in demand and supply. A few months ago, crude oil prices were USD 35-38, which has gone up to USD 54-55," he told reporters.
"Our basic challenge is we have to import 80% of crude oil of our requirement. Consumption has been increasing. India is third as far as energy consumption is concerned," he said.