Petrol, diesel prices at fresh highs as rates up for 2nd straight day

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Petrol and diesel prices on Wednesday scaled new highs in the country as rates were hiked for the second day in a row.

Petrol price was hiked by 30 paise per litre and diesel by 25 paise a litre, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.

The increase took petrol price to an all-time high of ₹ 87.60 a litre in Delhi and to ₹ 94.12 in Mumbai.

Diesel rates rose to ₹ 77.73 per litre in the national capital and to an all-time high of ₹ 84.63 in Mumbai.

Rates vary from state to state depending on the local incidence of taxation (VAT) and freight.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in Rajya Sabha said the government is not considering a reduction in excise duty to cool rates from their record highs.

Also read | Misnomer to campaign that fuel prices are at all-time high: Dharmendra Pradhan

Rates have risen as international oil prices crossed $ 61 per barrel for the first time in more than a year on improving demand outlook amid the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, he said on Wednesday.

Central and state taxes make up for over 61 % of the retail selling price of petrol and about 56 % of diesel.

Fuel rates had gone up by 30 paise per litre each on Tuesday.

So far this year, prices have risen by ₹ 3.89 per litre in case of petrol and by ₹ 3.86 on diesel.

Last week, Mukesh Kumar Surana, head of India’s third-largest fuel retailer Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) had said that oil companies have little handle to control retail prices. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) Director (Finance) N. Vijayagopal on Tuesday had voiced a similar opinion.

Relief to consumers can come from a cut in government taxes, they said.

Retail petrol rates have risen by ₹ 18.01 per litre since mid-March 2020 after the government raised taxes by a record margin to mop up gains arising from fall in international oil prices. Diesel rates have gone up by ₹ 15.44.

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