Fuel prices reach record high

Fuel prices reach record high

People get their two-wheelers filled with petrol at a fuel station in Ahmedabad, India, May 14, 2018.

Days after the Karnataka elections, petrol prices across the country on Sunday reached a record high of Rs 76.24 per litre.

Diesel, too, reached a historic high of Rs 67.57. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the government will soon come out with a solution.

However, in Mumbai, the prices of petrol touched a historic high of Rs 84.07 per litre with the locals complaining that the price in Mumbai is much higher than in Gujarat and Delhi.

After a 20-day freeze in the run-up to Karnataka Assembly, oil marketing companies started raising rate since May 14, with Sunday's hike being the highest ever on petrol — 33 paise per litre.

"I accept that citizens of India, especially the middle class, suffers due to fuel price hike. Factors like less production of oil in OPEC countries and hike in price of crude oil in international market affect price. The government will soon come out with a solution," Petroleum Minister Dhamendra Pradhan told media persons as the pitch against the government raised.

In Delhi and many other places in India, petrol is cheaper than it is in Mumbai. Prices of petrol and diesel vary due to imposition of VAT or local taxes on the two commodities.

Prices of petrol and diesel had reached a historic high on September 14, 2013 when petrol sold Rs 83.62 per litre in Delhi and Rs 83.35 in Bangaluru. The same day diesel, too, sold its highest at Rs 67.26 per litre.

The Centre had raised excise duty nine times levying Rs 11.77 per litre on petrol and Rs 13.47 on diesel in between November 2014 and January 2016 taking advantage of a fall in global crude oil prices.

It had then said that people would be protected when the prices rise in future. But, since January 2016, the Centre cut excise duty on petrol and diesel just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre.

Briefing the press extensively on macro-economic concerns slapped by high crude oil prices, Economic Affairs Secretary had on Friday said the government was watching the situation but there was no plan to reduce excise duty any time soon.

He had also said that it was wrong to think that the government earns revenue when petrol and diesel prices are high.