Petrol prices hiked for 15th day in a row to new record highs, but is relief in offing?
Petrol and diesel prices continue to soar and were hiked for the 15th consecutive day on Monday, even as global crude oil prices receded from record high levels. Notably, according to the latest prices, one litre of petrol retailed at Rs 78.27 vs Rs 78.12 in Delhi yesterday, a 15 paise rise. In Mumbai the prices rose beyond the Rs 86 mark to Rs 86.08. In Kolkata petrol retailed at Rs 80.76, while at Rs Chennai 81.11. Meanwhile, the cost of diesel per liter has also been increased and the revised prices in Delhi are – Rs 69.17 and Mumbai Rs 73.64 per litre.
Notably, the hike in prices come even as the global prices continued to decline on Monday. Oil prices fell on Monday, extending a steep decline in the previous session, as the market eyed an increase in output from the world’s three top crude producers, Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported. Brent crude futures were at $75.34 per barrel at 0124 GMT, down $1.10, or 1.4 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $66.31 a barrel, down $1.57, or 2.3 percent, said the agency. Notably, with this latest decline, Brent and WTI have fallen by 6.4 percent and nearly 9 percent respectively from peaks reached earlier in May. In China, Shanghai crude oil futures tumbled by 4.5 percent to 459 yuan ($71.83) per barrel.
Meanwhile the government back home has said that they are exploring various solutions to check the rising prices. Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan earlier assured the public that the government will soon take out a solution to tackle the situation. According to the minister, less production of oil in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and hike in crude oil price in the international market are some of the factors affecting the fuel price.
Meanwhile, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has advocated bringing fuel under the GST to curb the price hike. “Petrol and diesel should have been brought under the Goods and Services Tax. I asked officials during a presentation if we bring fuel prices under GST will it benefit the states or not. They said ‘yes’, they will benefit,” Gadkari said at a recent conclave.