Diesel price hit an all-time high in the national capital while the price of petrol reached a four-year high at Rs. 73.73 a litre. The cost of diesel per litre in Delhi touched an all-time high of Rs. 64.58, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
The new revelation on the prices of petroleum products has prompted political parties to renew their demands for the government to cut excise tax rates. The CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury said, “This is clearly not an April Fool’s joke. While crude oil prices are half of its all-time high, Indians are being made to pay the highest ever price for diesel and petrol. Being taxed for Modi’s tamashas and advertising.”
The prices for both diesel and petrol reached their new peak after state-owned oil firms, that have been since June last year revising auto fuel prices daily, today raised petrol and diesel rates by 18 paise per litre each in Delhi.
Petrol in the national capital, added the PTI report, now costs Rs. 73.73 a litre, the highest since September 14, 2014 when rates had hit Rs. 76.06. Diesel price at Rs. 64.58 is the highest ever, with previous high of Rs.64.22 being on February 7, 2018.
State-owned fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), which own over 95 per cent of nearly 58,000 petrol pumps in the country, had launched a pilot for daily price revision in five select cities from 1 May and gradually extend it to all over the country.
While petrol price was freed from government control in June 2010, diesel rates were deregulated in October 2014. Technically, oil companies have freedom to revise rates but often they have been guided by political considerations.
One such example was last year when the Centre’s Narendra Modi government cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre ahead of crucial Gujarat assembly elections.