Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Diesel rates have risen by over ₹5/l since state polls

- Rajeev Jayaswal

NEW DELHI: The hike in fuel prices continued for the 20th time in 35 days, making petrol costlier by ₹4.91 per litre on Monday and diesel ₹5.49 across the country since May 4, a couple of days after results of five assembly polls were declared.

State-run oil companies raised petrol prices by 28 paise per litre and diesel by 27 paise a litre on Monday.

The latest hike took auto fuel rates to yet another record across the country. Petrol in Delhi is sold at ₹95.31 per litre on Monday and diesel at ₹86.22 a litre. While fuel rates in Delhi are the benchmark for the entire country, retail prices of the two fuels differ from place to place because of variations in state taxes and local levies.

The unidirecti­onal upward movement since May 4 saw petrol breaching ₹100-mark in various cities across the country, particular­ly in Maharashtr­a, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Some of the cities selling the fuel for over ₹100 per litre are Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Parbhani, Aurangabad, Jaisalmer, Ganganagar, Banswara, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Guntur and Kakinada.

Mumbai has the highest fuel rates among the metros. Petrol is currently sold at ₹101.52 per litre in the financial capital and diesel at ₹93.58 a litre.

Surging internatio­nal oil rates and exorbitant domestic tax structure are two key reasons for high rates of petrol and diesel in pumps.

Indian fuel retailers align pump prices of petrol and diesel with their internatio­nal benchmark rates of previous day. Benchmark Brent crude, which fell marginally by 0.06% at $71.31 per barrel on Thursday, had gained 0.81% on Friday close at $71.89 a barrel. It, however, fell 0.56% at $71.49 per barrel on Monday early trade.

Pump prices of fuels are also high because of taxes. In Delhi, central levies account for 34.8% of petrol’s price and state taxes, 23.08%, according to an official data of June 1. On diesel, central taxes are over 37.24% while state taxes are about 14.64%. Through 2020, as global crude prices fell, the central government raised excise duty on the fuel to shore up its finances. States too followed suit—with revenues hit on account of the pandemic.

Even as internatio­nal oil prices saw volatility in last one month, pump rates of auto fuels in India moved only in the upward direction.

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