Petrol, diesel prices hiked after 19-day pre-poll hiatus

Eileen GuzmanMay 15, 2018

Prices had been been kept on hold for nearly three weeks from 24 April, which commentators attributed to the impending Karnataka state elections that were held on Saturday.

Petrol and diesel prices in Delhi were hiked by 17 and 21 paise per litre respectively. State-run oil companies said that the price revision was necessary because of increasing global oil rates, PTI reported. Petrol prices also rose to Rs74.80 per litre on Monday, the highest since they were raised to Rs76.06 per litre on 14 September 2013.

In Delhi, the price of petrol was hiked to Rs 74.80 per litre from Rs 74.63 while the rate of diesel was increased to Rs 66.14 a litre from Rs 65.93, according to a price notification issued by state-owned oil marketing companies.

Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, said: "The surge in fuel costs will be a major concern for those who rely on their vehicle for their daily commute and, should we see this pattern of increases continue, it will become necessary for government to re-assess the extent to which they tax both petrol and diesel".

For the first time, diesel prices in the city will cross ₹70 per litre on Tuesday.

Poor and rural households are the biggest losers in the monthly fuel price reviews after Kerosene prices were hiked by Sh1.50 by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Retail pricing of petrol and diesel has been deregulated and the OMCs are free to revise prices in keeping with the movement in the global market.

The rise in petrol and diesel prices is due to rise in the rate of crude oil.

State-owned oil companies in June last year dumped the 15-year old practice of revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month and instead adopted a dynamic daily price revision to instantly reflect changes in oil costs.

The increase in oil prices comes after several weeks, shattering hopes of a normalisation with regards to rising oil prices. The rupee has fallen to 67.23 per USA dollar, which is at its lowest since February 8, 2017.

The price hike now is to compensate for the loss incurred during this period. But suddenly, they have increased again today, coincidentally a day after Karnataka elections.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams comments: "Prices at the pumps are likely to rise by at least 2p a litre in the next fortnight as a result of the US's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement".

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