Petrol and diesel prices were hiked yet again on Friday, marking the 20th consecutive day increase in fuel prices after the 82-day hiatus in the wake of Covid-19.
In Delhi, petrol price was hiked by 21 paise per litre, while diesel by 17 paise per litre. On Thursday, diesel price in the national capital crossed the Rs 80 per litre-mark for the first time ever as oil companies raised prices for the 19th day, taking the cumulative rate to Rs 10.63 a litre.
Today, petrol will cost Rs 80.13 per litre and diesel Rs 80.19 per litre in the national capital.
Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, petrol price was hiked by 22 paise per litre to be priced at Rs 82.74. Diesel price was increased by 16 paise to cost Rs 76.25 per litre.
Rates of petrol and diesel differ from state to state depending on the incidence of VAT.
While the diesel price has been hiked for the 20th straight day, petrol price has been raised on 19 occasions in less than three weeks. The cumulative increase since the oil companies started the cycle on June 7 now totals to Rs 8.87 for petrol and Rs 10.8 in diesel.
Prior to the current rally, the peak diesel rates had touched was on October 16, 2018, when prices had climbed to Rs 75.69 per litre in Delhi. The highest ever petrol price was on October 4, 2018, when rates soared to Rs 84 a litre in Delhi.
When rates had peaked in October 2018, the government had cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre each. State-owned oil companies were asked to absorb another Rs 1 a litre to help cut retail rates by Rs 2.50 a litre.
The government on March 14 hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 3 per litre each and then again on May 5 by a record Rs 10 per litre in case of petrol and Rs 13 on diesel. The two hikes gave the government Rs 2 lakh crore in additional tax revenues.
Oil PSUs Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) instead of passing on the excise duty hikes to customers adjusted them against the fall in the retail rates that was warranted because of fall in international oil prices to two-decade low.
International oil prices have since rebounded and oil firms are now adjusting retail rates in line with them.