New Delhi, Apr 20, 2018 : Petrol and diesel prices continued to rise, hitting multi-year highs, amid an upward trend in global crude prices. Petrol prices were raised marginally by 1 paisa on Friday, while diesel prices went up by 4 paise. Petrol prices retailed at Rs. 74.08 per litre in Delhi, the highest since September 2013, according to Indian Oil website. In Kolkata petrol today retailed at Rs. 76.78, in Mumbai at Rs. 81.93 and in Chennai at Rs. 76.85. Diesel prices were raised today by 4 paise. In Delhi, diesel retailed at record high of Rs. 65.31, according to Indian Oil website. In Kolkata, diesel rates were at 68.01, in Mumbai at Rs. 69.54 and in Chennai at Rs. 68.9.
Global oil prices have risen to their highest since late 2014 built on the ongoing drawdowns in global supply. Brent crude futures were today steady at $73.78 a barrel. Also supporting global crude prices is the possibility that the United States might reimpose sanctions on Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer, which could result in further supply reductions.
Since the start of this month, petrol prices have gone up by over 50 paise in major cities. And diesel by over 90 paise.
Since the start of this year, in top cities, petrol prices have risen by over Rs. 4 per litre. And diesel by Rs. 5-6 per litre.
State-owned oil companies - Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation - in June last year dumped the 15-year old practice of revising rates on the 1st and 16th of every month . Instead, they adopted a daily price revision system to instantly reflect changes in cost. Since then, prices are revised on a daily basis.
Besides the global crude prices, domestic petrol and diesel prices depend on government taxes, both at the central and the state level, among other factors. India imports bulk of its energy requirements.
The central government had cut excise duty by Rs. 2 per litre in October 2017, when petrol price reached Rs. 70.88 per litre in Delhi and diesel Rs. 59.14. Because of the reduction in excise duty, diesel prices had on October 4, 2017 come down to Rs. 56.89 per litre and petrol to Rs.68.38 per litre. However, a global rally in crude prices pushed domestic fuel prices far higher than those levels.
The October 2017 excise duty cut cost the government Rs. 26,000 crore in annual revenue and about Rs. 13,000 crore during the remaining part of the current fiscal year.