Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Petrol, Diesel Prices Hiked After 19 Days

Fuel prices hiked after 19 days as Karnataka elections get over Petrol, diesel prices go up after Karnataka elections are over, petrol prices near Rs 80 per litre in Kolkata, Chennai
Faye Gross | 15 May, 2018, 15:35

The National Democratic Alliance government has maintained that it has got no role in pricing since India's three government-run oil marketing companies-Indian Oil Corp.

"If another couple of pence a litre goes on as a result of the higher oil price and the fact the pound is at a four-month low could take the average cost of a litre of unleaded to 126.5p - a price last seen in October 2014 - which would make filling up a 55-litre family auto cost almost £70".

Analysts estimate the three OMCs - Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd - took a combined hit of over Rs 1,500-1,700 crore since the start of April, when the prices marginally higher despite a steep rise in worldwide oil prices. Fuel prices were last increased 19 days ago. With this, the price of petrol in Thiruvananthapuram is now Rs. 78.78 per litre, while that of diesel is Rs. 71.75 per litre. But prices were frozen thereafter. 63 a litre on April 24, to $ 82.

The temporary freeze on fuel prices also did a number on OMC stocks. Benchmark worldwide rate for petrol during this time went up from $ 78.84 per barrel to $ 82.98, while diesel rates during this period have climbed from $ 84.68 per barrel to $ 88.63. 62, making imports costlier. Before stabilising the prices, it was increasing 25-35 paise every day.

The government of India defends its high taxation policy on petroleum commodities by saying that the inflow of revenue credited to those commodities form a bulk of the excise collected by both state and central governments and without an alternative tax stream, it is impossible to lower the taxes on petrol/diesel that would result in cutting down the bulk of a state's revenue. The move come a typical Gujarat poll outcome.

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The prices of the petrol and diesel depend upon the worldwide prices of the Crude oil as per the government norms but the recent prices in the world market have not found reflection in the rates for the customers. Many of these countries are pushing their consumer towards cleaner fuels.

Sources from multiple OMCs told Business Standard that the companies are going to recover the losses incurred in the first two weeks of May in upcoming weeks through daily upward revisions.

Finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia and economic affairs secretary Subhash Garg have in the past weeks ruled out any immediate reduction in excise duty to cushion the increases warranted from a spike in global oil price.

They started moving up immediately after polling for assembly elections in Gujarat concluded on December 14, leading to speculation that government may have asked oil companies to hold the prices. The stock was later down 1.06 per cent at Rs 316.35. Diesel prices are: 66.14 (Delhi), 66.68 (Kolkata), 70.43 (Mumbai) and 69.79 (Chennai). 89 per litre and petrol to Rs 68.

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