In Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai too, prices climbed to new multi-year highs at Rs 77.20, Rs 82.35 and Rs 77.29 per litre respectively on Monday.
Petrol prices rose for the fifth consecutive day on Monday to Rs 74.50 per litre in New Delhi, even as global crude oil cost dipped somewhat due to international factors. According to the data on IndianOil Corp’s website, petrol price in New Delhi was the highest in nearly five years and became dearer by 10 paise from Sunday’s cost of Rs 74.40 per litre. In September 2013, the price had touched Rs 76.06 a litre in the national capital. In Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai too, prices climbed to new multi-year highs at Rs 77.20, Rs 82.35 and Rs 77.29 per litre respectively on Monday.
The previous highs in these cities were Rs 78.03 (Kolkata, August 2014), Rs 83.62 (Mumbai, September 2013) and Rs 77.48 (Chennai, September 2013). Besides petrol, diesel prices, too, touched fresh record levels on Monday in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. They rose to Rs 65.75, Rs 68.45, Rs 71.01 and Rs 69.37 per litre respectively. Transportation fuel costs have been on the rise due to the recent surge in global crude oil prices.
On Monday, Brent crude was priced around $74 per barrel whereas it cost over $100 a barrel in 2013. Prices of transport fuels are now changed on a daily basis unlike the previous norm of fortnightly revision of prices. In addition, high excise duty has supported the price rise. This has fuelled demands for a reduction in excise duty to contain the rise in fuel cost.
“The government can always reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel thereby earning a lower revenue but at least easing some burden on the consumers,” said Bal Malkit Singh, Chairman, Core Committee, All India Motor Transport Congress. “There should be revision of diesel and petrol prices quarterly, uniform diesel price across India.”
In the Union Budget 2018, the government had reduced the basic excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2. The government also abolished additional excise duty on fuel. But to compensate the move on the fiscal front, it increased the road cess to Rs 8 per litre. “The ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will bring the petroleum products under a rational tax mechanism,” Singh said.