Petrol is being sold at Rs 79.92 per litre in Delhi, whereas diesel prices crossed Rs 80 per litre mark for the first time in history.
Petrol and diesel prices in India rose for the 19th straight day on Thursday even as the crude prices in the international market is two-third of the pre-corona levels. In a continuous increase in the cost of retail fuel, the diesel prices are hiked by Rs 10.63 per litre while the petrol prices are hiked by Rs 8.66 per litre in less than three weeks. Petrol is being sold at Rs 79.92 per litre in Delhi, whereas diesel prices crossed Rs 80 per litre mark for the first time in history, according to the Indian Oil Corporation Limited. Also, it was for the first time when diesel was sold at a higher price than petrol in Delhi on Wednesday.
Due to the global lockdown on the back of the novel coronavirus pandemic, international crude prices dramatically fell in the month of April and May. However, as the countries stepped out of the lockdown, fuel demand shot up and the crude prices also improved. Though the increased demand for fuel significantly corrected the crude prices, the price of Brent crude is still near $40 per barrel, which was at a much higher level of over $60 per barrel by the end of January 2020.
So, what is keeping retail fuel prices up in India?
High taxes on petrol and diesel are dragging fuel prices to record levels, said Sanjeev Singh, Chairman, IOCL. With the returning demand and increasing crude prices, the retail fuel price may further rise, he added. When crude pieces were flooring, the central government increased the excise duty and cess on petrol by Rs 10 per litre, and that on diesel by Rs 13 per litre, to take the advantage of the low prices. While the consumers did not get any benefit from the low crude prices, the consumers are burning a deep hole in their pocket by buying petrol and diesel at rates, which are much higher than the pre-corona levels as the crude prices are rebounding. Meanwhile, the hike in petrol and diesel prices can not be attributed to the shortage of supply as Sanjeev Singh also assured of ample supply of petrol, diesel, and LPG.