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Petrol nears Rs 91/liter mark in Delhi, above Rs 97 in Mumbai

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Petrol price on Tuesday neared the Rs 91 per litre mark in the national capital and diesel crossed Rs 81 a litre, as fuel prices were hiked again after a two-day pause.

Petrol and diesel prices were raised by 35 paise per liter each, sending retail rates to an all-time high, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.

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The increase pushed petrol price to Rs 90.93 a litre in Delhi and to Rs 97.34 in Mumbai.

Diesel – the most consumed fuel in the country – now comes for Rs 81.32 a litre in the national capital and for Rs 88.44 in Mumbai.

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Fuel prices had risen for 12 straight days before hitting a two-day pause button on February 21 and 22.

The increase follows a spurt in oil prices in the international market, on which India is dependent to meet its 85 per cent of crude oil needs.

Brent oil crossed USD 66 a barrel on Tuesday as US output was slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut production last week.

Petrol prices have been raised by Rs 4.63 per litre in February and by Rs 7.22 in 2021. Diesel rates have gone up by Rs 4.84 a litre in February and by Rs 7.45 in 2021.

Petrol price has already surged past the Rs 100-mark in some places in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which levy the highest value-added tax (VAT) on the fuel.

Retail pump prices differ from state to state depending on the local taxes (VAT) and freight.

The increase in fuel prices has been criticised by the opposition parties such as the Congress that said that the Narendra Modi government should have cut excise duty to ease consumer pain.

The Modi government had raised taxes to scoop out the benefit that arose from international oil rates plunging to a two-decade low in April/May last year. While global rates have rebounded with pick-up in demand, the government has not restored the taxes, which are at a record high.

Central and state taxes make up for 60 per cent of the retail selling price of petrol and over 54 per cent of diesel.

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