Fuel prices continued an upward march on Monday with the price of petrol in Delhi inching closer to the three-figure mark. While petrol was priced at Rs 99.86 per litre in Delhi after 35 paise hike, people in the national capital have to shell out Rs 89.36 (unchanged today) for one litre of diesel, news agency ANI reported.
In the other key cities too petrol prices continued to climb to new highs. In Mumbai, it was priced at Rs 105.92 per litre (24 paise hike), while in Chennai also it has surpassed the Rs 100-mark to retail at Rs 100.75/L. In Kolkata too, price of petrol is inching closer to the three-figure mark and currently priced at Rs 99.84/L.
This is the third fuel price hike in July. Oil companies have increased petrol prices 34 times in the last two months. Diesel prices have been hiked 33 times during the same period.
They attribute the consistent increase in fuel prices to development in the global oil markets where both product and crude price have been firming up for the past couple of months on demand rise amidst the slowing of pandemic. However, a closer look at the fuel retail prices in the country gives a picture that it is the high level of taxes that is keeping fuel rates higher even in times when global oil prices are firm.
Global crude oil price is now hovering around USD 75 a barrel. It was over USD 80 a barrel in October 2018 but even then, the petrol prices hovered around Rs 80 a litre across the county. So, even with lower oil prices now, petrol prices have hit a century and crossed it by a wider margin now in several parts of the country. The only way retail prices could be brought down in this period is by way of tax cuts by both the Centre and States, suggests experts as crude oil prices are seen rising from here on.
With global crude prices also rising on a pick up demand and depleting inventories of world’s largest fuel guzzler — the US, retail prices of fuel in India are expected to firm up further in coming days. The benchmark Brent crude reached a multi-year high-level of over USD 75 on ICE or Intercontinental Exchange.