Petrol and diesel prices were revised for the tenth day in a row on Thursday, February 18, even as India has urged crude oil-producing countries to ease production cuts. The fuel rates were increased by 32-34 paise per litre across metros, as per the price notification of state-owned oil marketing companies. In Rajasthan's Ganganagar, the retail price of non-branded petrol has been revised to Rs 100.49 per litre, whereas in Nagarabandh, Madhya Pradesh, one needs to shell out Rs 100.76 for a litre of the fuel, according to Indian Oil Corporation data.
It had breached the Rs 100 per litre mark in both cities on Wednesday. This was the first time the fuel was sold at prices in three digits anywhere in the country.
Meanwhile, diesel rate in Ganganagar has been increased to Rs 92.47 a litre, while it costs Rs 91.5 litre in Nagarabandh.
Speaking of metros, the petrol price in Delhi has been hiked to a record Rs 89.88 per litre, while diesel rate climbed to Rs 80.27 a litre. In Mumbai, petrol and diesel prices have been increased to Rs 96.32 and Rs 87.32 per litre, again at record highs.
A litre of petrol in Bengaluru costs Rs 92.89 per litre, while diesel rate stands at Rs 85.09 a litre. The relentless hike in fuel prices has been critiqued by the opposition, including the Congress party, which has called for an immediate slash in taxes to alleviate the burden on the common man.
Fuel rates have been on upward swing across the country, touching all-time highs due to rising global crude oil prices, high central and state levies, and tight fiscal headroom that has limited the government's ability to check the spike.
Meanwhile, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had informed the Parliament during the Budget session that the Centre is nor mulling a reduction in excise duty to ease prices from their record highs. Global oil prices touched $61 per barrel for the first time in over a year on the back of improving demand outlook amid the rollout of coronavirus vaccines worldwide, the minister had said.
The fuel prices in India are determined on the basis of international crude oil prices and foreign exchange rates.
Meanwhile, the government has urged the oil producers' cartel - the Organization of Petrol Exporting Countries (OPEC), as well as its allies such as Russia, to alleviate production cuts as higher prices are affecting demand and adding to inflation.
"The price-sensitive Indian consumers are affected by rising petroleum product prices," Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said ahead of a March 4 policy-setting meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+.
Oil has been supported in the past few weeks by OPEC+ supply curbs and hopes of a demand rebound due to COVID-19 vaccinations. Benchmark Brent crude rose to $64.72 a barrel on Wednesday.