State-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) increased prices of petrol and diesel across the country on Monday, a day after the last phase of Lok Sabha polls concluded. This could mark the beginning of a rising trend in fuel prices as they are once again aligned to the rising global oil prices.
Petrol prices rose 8-10 paise, and diesel price increased 15-16 paise across major cities on Monday, according to data from Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL). In Mumbai, the price of petrol was increased to ₹76.73 per litre from ₹76.64 per litre on May 19, while in New Delhi, the price of petrol has been increased to ₹71.12 from ₹71.03. Similarly, a litre of diesel now costs ₹69.27 per litre in Mumbai, while in Delhi, it costs ₹66.11 per litre.
In Kolkata and Chennai, petrol rates jumped to ₹73.19 and ₹73.82 per litre respectively, while diesel stood at ₹67.86 and ₹69.88 per litre respectively.
Crude oil prices
The rise in fuel prices is attributed to the rise in crude oil prices in the international market. “There has been no official direction to keep fuel prices unchanged, and in fact, the fuel prices have been changed during the election period,” an official in state-owned HPCL told The Hindu.
Fuel prices in India usually accommodate a change in crude oil prices with a delay of 15 days to a month, hence the prices during the election period (April 11 to May 19) should ideally respond to the oil prices in the corresponding period prior to that. While crude oil prices in the Indian basket increased 9.8% in the March 11 to April 17 period to $72.9 per barrel, the price of petrol in Delhi in fact fell 2.36% from April 11 to May 19, indicating an artificial disconnect between the two.