Petrol And Diesel Prices Hiked For 16th Day In A Row
A security person sits at a closed petrol pump during ‘Janta Curfew’ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, in Prayagraj (Allahabad) on Sunday, March 22, 2020. (Photo: PTI)

Petrol And Diesel Prices Hiked For 16th Day In A Row

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Petrol prices were hiked by 33 paise per litre and diesel by 58 paise on Monday, taking the cumulative increase in rates in 16 days to Rs 9.21 a litre and Rs 8.55 respectively.

Petrol price in Delhi was hiked to Rs 79.56 per litre from Rs 79.23 while diesel rates were increased to Rs 78.85 a litre from Rs 78.27, according to a price notification of state oil marketing companies.

Rates have been increased across the country and vary from state to state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or value added tax.

Taxes make up for nearly two-thirds of the retail selling price. As much as Rs 50.69 per litre, or 64%, in petrol price is due to taxes -- Rs 32.98 is the central excise duty and Rs 17.71 is local sales tax or VAT.

Over 63% of the retail selling price of diesel is taxes. Out of the total tax incidence of Rs 49.43 per litre, Rs 31.83 is by way of central excise and Rs 17.60 is VAT.

The sixteenth daily increase in rates since oil companies on June 7 restarted daily price revisions in line with costs after ending an 82-day hiatus in rate revision, has taken diesel prices to fresh highs. Petrol price too is at a two-year high.

Prior to the current rally, the peak diesel rates had touched was on Oct. 16, 2018 when prices had climbed to Rs 75.69 per litre in Delhi. The highest-ever petrol price was on Oct. 4, 2018 when rates soared to Rs 84 a litre in Delhi.

When rates had peaked in October 2018, the government had cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre each. State-owned oil companies were asked to absorb another Re 1 a litre to help cut retail rates by Rs 2.50 a litre.

Oil companies had quickly recouped the Re 1 and the government in July 2019 raised excise duty by Rs 2 a litre.

The 82-day freeze in rates this year was imposed in mid-March soon after the government hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel to shore up additional finances.

The government on March 14 hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 3 per litre each and then again on May 5 by a record Rs 10 per litre in case of petrol and Rs 13 on diesel. The two hikes gave the government Rs 2 lakh crore in additional tax revenues.

Also read: In Chart: Fuel Price Hikes Burn A Deeper Hole In Indian Consumers’ Pockets

State-owned oil refiners Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd., instead of passing on the excise duty hikes to customers, adjusted them against the fall in the retail rates that was warranted because of a decline in international oil prices to two-decade lows.

International oil prices have since rebounded and oil firms are now adjusting retail rates in line with them.

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