Along with the factories and offices, all the flights, trains, cargo movement have been stopped as the citizens of India were asked to stay home to help contain the spread of deadly coronavirus.
In the wake of the rising coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, India has entered into another 19-day nationwide lockdown till May 3, which halted the travel activity. In the month of April, except LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas), all the petroleum products witnessed massive demand erosion due to which India’s fuel consumption tanked by a record 50 per cent. Petrol sales were down 64 per cent and diesel slumped by 61 per cent in the first half of this month, according to a PTI report. India is under a 40-day lockdown, due to which, barring essential services, all the factories and offices have been shut. Apart from this, all the flights, trains, cargo movement have been stopped as the citizens of India were asked to stay home to help contain the spread of deadly coronavirus.
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State-controlled oil marketing companies (OMCs) refrained from changing the prices of fuel for over a month in a row amid the nationwide lockdown extension. While the global benchmark for oil, Brent crude prices have fallen to about 18-year low to $28 a barrel. In Delhi, a litre of petrol costs Rs 69.59 while diesel costs Rs 62.29 litre. Citizens in Mumbai have to pay Rs 76.31 for a litre of petrol while diesel retails at Rs 66.21 per litre. Similarly, in Kolkata, people have to pay Rs 73.30 for a litre of petrol while diesel costs Rs 65.62 per litre. In Bengaluru, people will have to shell out Rs 73.55 for a litre of petrol and Rs 65.96 for diesel. The price of petrol in Gurugram is Rs 70.21 a litre while that of diesel is Rs 62.08 a litre. In Noida, petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged at Rs 72.03 and Rs 62.96 per litre, respectively, according to the data available with Indian Oil Corp website.
Fuel consumption shrinks up to 94%
Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) consumption shrunk by a whopping 94 per cent as flights remain suspended. LPG is the only fuel that registered a consumption growth of 21 per cent from April 1-15, on the back of free cooking gas cylinder distribution to households by the government. In March 2020, the country’s petroleum product consumption fell 17.79 per cent to 16.08 million tonnes. Diesel, the most consumed fuel in the country, saw demand contract by 24.23 per cent to 5.65 million tonnes. This is the biggest fall in diesel consumption the country has recorded as most trucks went off-road and railways stopped plying trains, PTI reported.
In an attempt to revive the stalled economy, the government from April 20 will lift restrictions on e-commerce companies, goods movement by roads and restart port and air cargo operations. Factories including those in the food processing industry, mining, packaging material, oil and gas exploration, and refineries will be allowed to operate. Road construction, irrigation projects, construction work and projects in SEZ and EoUs will be allowed to resume work.