Fuel prices hiked after 19 days; in Ludhiana petrol 14 paise up, diesel 18 paise

Prices of petrol, diesel hiked again after 36 days
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The Hush Post: Petrol prices were hiked today by 17 paise per litre and diesel by 21 paise as PSU oil companies began passing on the spike witnessed in international rates to consumers.

Petrol prices in Delhi were increased to ₹74.80 per litre from ₹74.63 while diesel rates were jacked up to ₹66.14 per litre from ₹65.93, according to a price notification issued by state-owned oil marketing firms.

With this, diesel prices have touched a record high while petrol touched a four-year-eight-month peak.

Oil PSUs, who kept rates unchanged for nearly three weeks before Karnataka went to polls despite input cost going up, reverted to daily revision in prices no sooner had the state voted to elect a new government on Saturday.

It is learnt that state-owned oil marketing companies are estimated to have lost about ₹500 crore as they absorbed higher cost shock resulting from the spike in international oil rates and fall in rupee against the US dollar.

Oil PSUs, which have been since June last year revising auto fuel prices on a daily basis to reflect changes in the cost, have kept pump rates static since April 24.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh last week said state-owned firms were “temporarily moderating” prices to avoid sharp increases and panic among customers.

Petrol and diesel prices were last revised on April 24 when they were hiked by 13 paise each. But prices were brought to a halt ever since. This despite benchmark international rate for petrol going up from $78.84 per barrel, which was used for raising the price to ₹74.63 a litre on April 24, to $82.98 now, according to sources privy to fuel pricing methodology.

The benchmark international diesel price during this period have climbed from $84.68 per barrel to $88.63.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in April denied reports of a directive to state oil companies to absorb at least Re 1 a litre hike by not raising prices in line with cost.

The prices at petrol pumps of state-owned fuel retailers like Indian Oil Corp (IOC) were cut by 1-3 paise every day in the first fortnight of December 2017 before Gujarat went to polls.

They started moving up immediately after polling for assembly elections in Gujarat concluded.

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