Fuel prices increased again across the country on Thursday, adding more misery for the common man already grappling with rising food prices amid shrinking income.
But in the latest round of fuel price hike, oil marketing companies have spared diesel users from a big spike while maintaining a regular increase in the retail price of petrol.
On Thursday, the oil marketing companies (OMCs) raised the price of petrol by 26 paise per litre to Rs 97.76 a litre in Delhi but kept diesel price hike relatively lower at just 7 paise per litre that has raised its retail level at Rs 88.30 a litre in the national capital.
With the rise, petrol price has reached very close to hitting the century mark all across the country extending the scope of historic high prices that had already made the fuel rate cross the Rs 100 per litre mark in certain cities and towns of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
In the city of Mumbai, where petrol crossed the Rs 100 a litre mark for the first time on May 29, the fuel price reached a new high of Rs 103.88 per litre on Thursday. Diesel price also increased marginally in the city to reach Rs 95.80 a litre, the highest among metros.
Across the country as well petrol and diesel prices increased on Thursday but its retail prices varied depending on the level of local taxes in different states.
Petrol prices in three other metros apart from Mumbai have also reached closer to Rs 100 per litre mark and OMC officials said that if international oil prices continue to firm up, this mark could also be breached in other places by month-end.
With Thursday’s price hike, fuel prices have now increased on 29 days and remained unchanged on 26 days since May 1. The 29 increases have raised petrol prices by Rs 7.37 per litre in Delhi. Similarly, diesel price has increased by Rs 7.57 per litre in the national capital.
With global crude prices also rising on a pick-up demand and depleting inventories of the world’s largest fuel guzzler – the US, retail prices of fuel in India are expected to firm up further in the coming days. The benchmark Brent crude reached a multi-year high level of over $75 on ICE or Intercontinental Exchange.