Petrol and diesel prices are falling since the daily fuel price revision was implemented. But unlike earlier, when there would be significant noticeable changes every fortnight, this time, the prices have fallen by just a few paise everyday, barely to the notice of many people across the nation. Put together, however, the change is huge over the last 12 days, since July 16, when the daily revision in retail fuel prices began nationwide.
The price of petrol has fallen by Rs 3.45 per litre in Delhi in 12 days, while that of diesel has fallen by Rs 2.41 per litre, following a continued weakness in the global crude oil prices. Today, Tuesday-Wednesday, petrol is being retailed for Rs 63.46 per litre and diesel for Rs 53.53 per litre in Delhi. The prices of retail fuel have fallen on all but one of the 11 days since the new mechanism has been in practice.
The daily change in the price of petrol and diesel began with the biggest cut of the lot on June 16 itself, when petrol price was reduced by Rs 1.43 per litre (including state taxes and levies) after a gap of 15 days, as was the existing practice. Similarly, diesel price change began with a cut of Rs 1.45 per litre (including state taxes and levies) on June 16.
Since then, the daily fall has been modest, but has gradually added up to significant savings for the consumers. Prices fell for first five days straight, then remained unchanged for a day, and then again fell for five days in a row. Meanwhile, the price of the Indian basket of crude oil has fallen from $45.60 per barrel on June 15 to $43.85 per barrel on June 22 — the last trading day for which the data is available.
New pricing mechanism
The three state-run oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp began daily revision of retail prices of petrol and diesel all across the country with effect from June 16, in a move that would ensure that the benefit of even the smallest of changes in the international oil prices is passed on to dealers and consumers.
The roll out of daily price revision mechanism nationwide came close on the heels of a pilot project to review petrol and diesel prices on a daily basis in five cities from May 1. This is a departure from the earlier practice of review in the prices of petrol and diesel every fortnight, and is a leap further towards true deregulation, since the new practice would ensure that no party — including the oil marketing companies — loses out for an entire fortnight in the event of a sharp fluctuation in crude oil prices. Further, the new system seeks to bring parity with international fuel prices, increase transparency in pricing of retail fuel, and also minimise the impact of crude price change on the working capital of oil companies.
With daily revision, chances of major changes in the prices are very low, and the rise or cut would mostly be in few paise, of course depending on the movement in the crude oil prices. Albeit, to add to the confusion for consumers, the prices may vary from town-to-town or even from dealer-to-dealer, though again, by just a few paise.
How to check daily price
Oil marketing companies have introduced several methods for consumers to check the day’s fuel price at a particular retail outlet, which will be effective from 6 am that day. Consumers can check the prices through SMS alerts, oil companies’ mobile apps, websites and toll-free phone numbers.
Customers could type RSP<SPACE>DEALER CODE, and send to 9224992249 for Indian Oil; 9223112222 for Bharat Petroleum; and 9222201122 for Hindustan Petroleum. Outlet-wise price information will also be available on the companies’ websites, and mobile apps, namely Fuel@IOC, SmartDrive (BPCL), and My HPCL.
(Originally published on Monday, June 26 on www.financialexpress.com; updated on Tuesday, June 27)