Petrol and diesel prices were raised for the third day in a row on Wednesday as state-owned fuel retailers resumed daily rate revision after a more than 18 days long hiatus during assembly elections in states like West Bengal.
Petrol and diesel prices were increased by up to 30 paise per litre, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. In Delhi, petrol prices have been increased by 25 paise from Rs 90.74 per litre to Rs 90.99 per litre and diesel prices have been raised by 30 paise from Rs 81.12 per litre to Rs 81.42 per litre, according to Indian Oil Corporation.
In Mumbai, the revised prices of petrol and diesel are Rs 97.34 per litre and Rs 88.49 per litre respectively, according to the state-run oil refiner. Currently, fuel prices are the highest in Mumbai among the four metro cities. Petrol and diesel prices vary across states in India due to the value-added.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticised the price hike that comes at a time when the country is reeling under an intense second wave of COVID-19. "Election over, loot resumes," Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Thursday reacting to the fuel price hike.
Rates have been increased across the country and vary from state to state depending on the local incidence of taxation (VAT). Oil companies, who have in recent months resorted to unexplained freeze in rate revision, had hit a pause button after cutting prices marginally on April 15. This coincided with electioneering hitting peak to elect new governments in five states including West Bengal.
No sooner had voting ended, oil companies indicated an impending increase in retail prices in view of firming trend in international oil markets. Despite the concerns about rising COVID-19 cases in India denting demand, crude oil prices in the international market have risen primarily on account of strong US demand recovery and a weak dollar.
Prices have been on a continuous uptrend since April 27, an industry official said adding crude oil price hit $65 per barrel mark. It is expected that the crude oil prices in the international market will remain firm in the near future, exerting upward pressure, he said.