DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Petrol price surged to hit a new 55-month high on Sunday as it touched a high of Rs. 74.40 a litre in New Delhi, while diesel price hit new all-time high of Rs. 65.65 in the national capital. The state-owned oil firms raised petrol and diesel rates by 19 paise per litre each in Delhi. The last time when petrol price surged past this level was in September 2013, when the fuel would make a consumer poorer by Rs. 76.06 a litre. The petrol price, on Sunday, costs Rs. 74.40 in Delhi, Rs. 77.10 in Kolkata, Rs. 82.25 in Mumbai and Rs. 77.19 in Chennai, as per the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) website.
At the same time, diesel price on Sunday stands at Rs. 65.65 in Delhi, Rs. 68.35 in Kolkata, Rs. 69.91 in Mumbai and Rs. 69.27 in Chennai.
The petrol and diesel prices tend to fluctuate on a daily basis since the state-owned oil companies that include Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), in June last year had renounced the 15-year practice of revising rates on the fortnightly basis and adopted a daily prices revision system to reflect changes.
The central government has raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances despite the fact that the global oil, to which domestic oil prices are linked, during this period. In all, duty on petrol rate was hiked by Rs. 11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in those 15 months that helped government’s excise mop up more than double to Rs. 242,000 crore in 2016-17 from Rs. 99,000 crore in 2014-15.
The government had slashed excise duty by Rs. 2 per litre in October 2017, when petrol price reached Rs. 70.88 per litre in Delhi. Following this, diesel prices came down to Rs. 56.89 per litre and petrol to Rs. 68.38 per litre. However, a global rally in crude prices pushed domestic fuel prices far higher than those levels.