New Delhi: Petrol and diesel prices were raised for the 12th day in succession on Friday as the state-owned oil firms gradually passed on to the consumer the increased cost of international oil that had accumulated since a 19-day freeze was imposed just before Karnataka elections.
Since the time the hiatus ended on May 14, rates have gone up by Rs 3.20 a litre in case of petrol and Rs 2.82 in diesel. Petrol costs Rs 77.83 a litre in Delhi and diesel Rs 68.75.
Prices of the key transportation fuel in the other major cities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were at Rs 80.47, Rs 85.65 and Rs 80.80 a litre, up Rs 3.15, Rs 3.17 and Rs 3.37 from the levels on May 13, according to the data on the IOC website. In Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, diesel was sold Rs 71.30, Rs 73.20 and Rs 72.58 per litre, respectively on Friday, up Rs. 2.82, Rs 2.67, Rs 3 and Rs 3.02 from the prices in May 13.
While the government is hoping that geopolitical tension would ease and US shale oil would help ease oil prices, it is not in favour of tinkering with the autonomy given to oil PSUs to revise rates daily in line with the cost.
The government may levy a windfall tax on oil producers like Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) as part of a permanent solution it is working on for moderating the spiralling retail prices of petrol and diesel. The tax, which may come in form of a cess, will kick in the moment oil prices cross USD 70 per barrel, a PTI source privy to the development said.
The central government levies Rs 19.48 a litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. State sales tax or VAT vary from state to state. In Delhi, VAT on petrol is Rs 15.84 and Rs 9.68 a litre on diesel.
State-owned oil companies in June 2017, dumped the 15-year old practice of revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month and instead adopted a dynamic daily price revision to instantly reflect changes in cost.
With consumers feeling the heat of surging fuel prices, there have been demands and suggestions from various quarters, including from within the government, for immediate action to curb the prices.
With Agency Inputs