For the sixth day now the petrol and diesel prices have been cut, yet at Rs 72.94 and Rs 63.50 per litre respectively in Delhi, the prices are much higher than what they were back in mid-November when the Brent crude oil price was in the same range as on Tuesday.
The Brent crude oil price on Tuesday was $62.59 per barrel, while the petrol prices in other three cities were Kolkata Rs 75.64; Mumbai Rs 80.81; Chennai Rs 75.65 and the diesel prices were Kolkata Rs 66.17; Mumbai Rs 67.62; Chennai Rs 66.96.
Last time when Brent crude oil price was hovering between $62 and $63 per barrel in mid-November and early December, the petrol prices in Delhi were recorded lower than Rs 69.61 per litre — a difference of more than Rs 3 per litre, while diesel prices were Rs 58.65, lower by more than Rs 5 per litre from today’s price.
Although, the petrol, diesel prices are not directly linked on to crude oil prices, however, it is one of the several factors in determining the petrol price. While since the excise duty cut in October last year, the petrol price has been hiked by Rs 5 per litre and cut by 44 paise, while Brent crude oil price surged by $16 per barrel and then fell back over $8 per barrel.
From June 16 last year, the oil companies have been doing the daily revision of petrol and diesel prices that mostly range between 1 paisa and 15 paise, and go largely unnoticed as compared to the previous system of fortnightly revisions.
The government on June 26, 2010, deregulated fuel prices in the country. The petrol and diesel prices in the past four months surged on the back of rallying crude oil prices, however, despite a drastic fall in crude oil prices, the impact has not been felt at retail fuel price yet. Meanwhile, the government has indicated that it is not planning any immediate excise duty cut lower fuel prices in the country.