Fuel prices continued to soar to fresh record highs on Friday, and were increased by 28 paise in major metros. In the national capital New Delhi, one litre of petrol is retailing at Rs 81.28 per litre, up from Rs 81 on Thursday. In Mumbai, petrol prices was hiked to Rs 88.67, from Rs 88.39 yesterday. In case of Kolkata, petrol prices zoomed to Rs 83.14, while in Chennai, petrol is retailing at Rs 84.49.
Notably, the fuel prices have been on the rise despite a Bharat Bandh protest organized by the opposition earlier this week. However, the centre has ruled out any tax cut relief, and asked to states to act instead. Poll-bound Rajasthan announced a cut of 4% on Value Added Tax (VAT), followed by a reduction of Re 1 per litre by West Bengal and Rs 2 a litre by Andhra Pradesh on both petrol and diesel.
Earlier, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that global external factors were to blame for continually rising prices in India. “OPEC had assured world community, from July 1 they’ll produce 1 million tonne per day, additonal production will be there. As per July-Aug statistics, target isn’t being compiled. Issues of Iran,Venezuela and Turkey are creating pressure on production. These factors aren’t in India’s hands,” Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters recently.
As per the calculation done by SBI Research, states stand to get a windfall gain of Rs 22,000 crore due to increase crude oil prices. By looking into the $1/barrel increase in oil prices, this translates Rs 1,513 crore to all the major 19 states. The largest gain would be in Maharashtra (Rs 3,389 crore) followed by Gujarat (Rs 2,842 crore), the SBI research said.
Meanwhile, oil prices clawed back some of its losses from the previous session when prices fell the most in a month, although worries that emerging market crises and trade disputes could dent demand continued to drag. Brent crude was up 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $78.41 a barrel by 0122 GMT, after falling 2 percent on Thursday. The global benchmark the day before rose to its highest since May 22 at $80.13 a barrel, Reuters reported.