A Re one per litre hike in petrol and Rs 2.28 a litre increase in diesel prices necessitated due to firming global oil rates has been put off by state-owned oil companies apparently because of assembly elections in Bihar.
State-owned IOC, BPCL and HPCL were to revise petrol and diesel prices on Wednesday as per the practice of adjusting retail pump rates every fortnight after taking into account the average international oil prices and foreign exchange rate in the previous 15 day period.
But the oil companies choose to skip the revision this time. “There will be no change in retail price this week,” said an official at one of the three retailers, without giving reason for such an action.
Industry sources said average cost of gasoline, against which petrol is benchmarked in India, had risen to $61.42 per barrel this month from $60.15 in second half of August. Rupee averaged 66.37 to a US dollar during September 1 to 15 as opposed to Rs 65.70 to a US dollar in previous fortnight.
The combined effect of the two had led to cost of petrol at refinery gate going up by 79 paisa per litre and after adding taxes the net increase at retail station would have been 98 paisa a litre in Delhi.
Similarly, international diesel rates had risen from USD 56.55 per barrel to USD 60.78 and after taking into account the foreign exchange variations, the refinery gate price had gone up by Rs 2 per litre. After accounting for taxes, pump rates in Delhi should have gone up by Rs 2.28 per litre.
Bihar goes to poll from October 12 and is being considered a a major test of popularity for the ruling BJP.
This would have been the first increase in auto fuel prices in four months. Petrol price was last hiked by Rs 3.13 a litre and diesel by Rs 2.71 per litre on May 16. Rates have on consecutive fortnights declined.
Consumers in Delhi however saw petrol price going up by 28 paisa a litre from July 16 after the state government raised VAT rates.
At the last revision on September 1, petrol price was cut by Rs 2 per litre and diesel by 50 paise.
A litre of petrol in Delhi currently costs Rs 61.20 while diesel is priced at Rs 44.95 per litre.
Petrol price since mid-May have been cut by a cumulative Rs 5.09 per litre in Delhi (Rs 7.89 in Mumbai where there was no VAT increase). Similarly, diesel rates have been cut Rs 7.83 per litre in Delhi (Rs 10.35 in Mumbai).
State-owned fuel retailers — Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) — revise petrol and diesel prices on 1st and 16th of every month based on PTI ANZ SOM 09161328