Petrol, diesel price hiked 80 paise a litre; LPG up ₹50

Petrol in Delhi now costs 96.21 per liter compared to ₹95.41 before, while diesel rates have risen from ₹86.67 per liter to 87.47.

Petrol in Delhi now costs 96.21 per liter compared to ₹95.41 before, while diesel rates have risen from ₹86.67 per liter to 87.47.

Petrol and diesel prices were raised by 80 paise per liter on Tuesday, while domestic cooking gas prices were increased by ₹50 per cylinder, ending a more than four-and-a-half-month election-related hiatus in tariff revision, sources said.

Petrol in Delhi now costs 96.21 per liter compared to ₹95.41 before, while diesel rates have risen from ₹86.67 per liter to 87.47.

At the same time, the price of an unsubsidized LPG cylinder in the capital has increased to ₹949.50 per 14.2kg bottle.

While LPG tariffs were last revised on Oct. 6, 2021, petrol and diesel prices had been frozen since Nov. 4 when five states, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, went to the polls.

LPG prices had risen nearly ₹100 per cylinder between July and 6 October 2021, before criticism halted the rate review.

Both LPG and auto fuel prices have since been frozen, despite rising raw material costs, first as demand returned and economies worldwide recovered from the slowdown caused by the pandemic and then as a result of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Non-subsidized cooking gas is the gas that consumers purchase after their quota of 12 cylinders has been used at subsidized or lower rates.

However, the government does not subsidize LPG in most cities and the price of topping up that consumers, including the poor women who got free affiliation under the much-discussed Ujjwala scheme, is the same as unsubsidized or market-based LPG.

Sources said a 5kg LPG cylinder will now cost £349, while the 10kg composite bottle will cost £669.

The commercial 19kg cylinder now costs 2003.50.

Since June 2017, gasoline and prices are adjusted daily in the past 15 days according to the international reference rate.

But rates have been frozen since Nov. 4, 2021, just after Narendra Modi’s government cut excise duties on petrol by 5 per liter and those on diesel by ₹10 per liter to lower the rates from record levels. Most state governments also reduced local sales tax or VAT.

Before these tax cuts, petrol prices had reached an all-time high of 110.04 per liter and diesel was 98.42.

These rates corresponded with Brent’s rise to a peak of $86.40 a barrel on October 26, 2021. Brent stood at $82.74 on November 5, 2021, before starting to fall, reaching $68.87 a barrel in December. reached barrel.

International oil prices started rising again this year, jumping to a 13-year high of $140 a barrel earlier this month. Brent traded at $118.59 a barrel on Tuesday.

To complicate matters, the Indian rupee fell to a record low of ₹77 to a dollar.

India relies on overseas purchases to supply about 85% of its oil needs, making it one of the most vulnerable in Asia to higher oil prices.

The double whammy of the oil price, already up more than 60% this year, and a weakening rupee could hurt the country’s finances, disrupt a budding economic recovery and fuel inflation.

Gasoline and diesel prices are to be increased by up to ₹25 per liter for fuel retailers to cover losses they incurred as they kept tariffs on hold despite a rise in raw material costs, industry sources said.

Diesel sold to bulk and industrial consumers had already increased by about 25 per litre, indicating that this is the gap between retail pump prices and their true economic value.

According to information from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry, the basket of crude oil that India buys rose above $128.24 a barrel on March 9.

This compares to an average price of $81.5 per barrel of India’s crude oil basket when petrol and diesel prices froze four months ago.

But oil companies aren’t expected to pass on the entire loss at once, and they will moderate it — raise interest rates by less than a rupee per liter per day.

International oil prices have been on the rise since Russia stationed its troops on the border with Ukraine.

They peaked after it invaded the Eastern European nation over fears that energy giant Russia’s oil and gas supplies could be disrupted, either by the conflict in Ukraine or by retaliatory sanctions by the West.

While Western sanctions have so far kept energy trade out, a prospect of a complete embargo on Russian oil and products is leading to the latest surge in international oil prices.

www.thehindu.com

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