Petrol cheaper by over Rs 2 from Aug 15

Petrol cheaper by over Rs 2 from Aug 15

Much to consumers’ relief, petrol prices will be reduced by more than Rs 2 from Thursday midnight.

The news, however, came from Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday instead of oil marketing companies (OMCs), indicating that the government still has a firm handle on the OMCs’ decision to revise petrol prices though they were freed four years ago.

Pradhan tweeted a day in advance about the price reduction oblivious of the fact that an early announcement would hurt OMCs and cause inconvenience to customers as the pumps would refrain from lifting petrol till the rates are reduced.

“Price of petrol will be reduced from midnight of August 14, 2014 in the range of Rs 1.89–2.38 (Rs 2.18/litre at Delhi),” he said.

Hours later, India’s largest fuel retailer Indian Oil Corporation issued a statement confirming the news.

“International petrol prices have further declined, the dollar-rupee exchange rate has significantly depreciated. The current levels of international oil prices and dollar-rupee exchange rate warrant a decrease in selling price of petrol in the domestic market. Thus, a downward revision in selling price of petrol is being effected w.e.f midnight intervening August 14/15,” the IOC statement said.

After the reduction in prices, the second in a month, petrol will sell at Rs 70.33 per litre in Delhi from the earlier price of Rs 72.51 per litre. In Kolkata, it will sell at Rs 78.03 down from Rs 80.30. In Mumbai, the rate will be lower by Rs 2.28 to sell at Rs 80.60 and in Chennai, it will be priced at Rs 73.47 with a cut of Rs 2.31 per litre.
This is the steepest reduction in prices since October last year when petrol was made cheaper by over Rs 3 per litre.

Petrol prices were freed from the government’s shackle in June 2010. Since then, the OMCs have been allowed to adjust the prices according to market rates. But the oil ministry exercises informal control over the prices, according to OMC executives.

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