Petrol prices on Wednesday, May 23, continue to rise for 10 days in a row touching a new high of Rs 84.99 per litre in Mumbai and Rs 77.17 in Delhi. Diesel prices also rose in line with petrol prices at Rs Rs 72.76 per litre in Mumbai and 68.34 in Delhi today. In Chennai, petrol price was at Rs 80.11 per litre while diesel went up to Rs 72.14 per litre. In Kolkata, petrol price was at Rs 79.83 while diesel cost rose to Rs 70.89 per litre today.
According to reports, the government is likely to cut excise duty by Rs 2 to Rs 4 in next few days. The discussions have been going on between oil marketing companies and the finance ministry on how to deal with rising fuel prices.
One of the main reasons for recent hike in petrol prices is the rise in crude oil prices in the past few months along with depreciating rupee against the US dollar. Crude oil has increased due to production cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Another reason for high petrol prices across the country is high central and state taxes on the fuel. According to estimates, the central tax on diesel has increased by more than 300 percent and in case of petrol, it has jumped by more than 100 percent since 2013. Consider this: crude oil was at $ 112 in September 2013 when petrol prices touched an all-time high of Rs 76.06. Today crude oil is cheaper by 28 percent at $80, but still, petrol and diesel prices have touched the new all-time high.
On Sunday, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan hinted towards cutting excise duty. “The Centre is sensitive towards the rising fuel prices. Various alternatives are being explored. I hope something will work out soon,” Pradhan told reporters. However, there has been no word on a cut on excise duty from the government so far.