No Respite For Consumers As Fuel Price Rises For Tenth Day In A Row

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is expected to meet the representatives of oil marketing companies today.

A nozzle pumps fuel into a car. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)
A nozzle pumps fuel into a car. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Petrol and diesel prices continued to rise for the 10th straight day as state-run oil marketers increased rates in line with crude oil prices, adding to consumers’ burden.

The price of petrol was hiked by 29 paise today to Rs 84.9 a litre in Mumbai. Diesel was raised by 28 paise to Rs 72.76 a litre, according to data released by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Brent crude ended 0.4 percent higher on Tuesday to close at $79.57 a barrel.

Oil marketing companies have been revising auto fuel prices daily since June last year. The latest series of hikes resumed on May 14, following a 19-day freeze in the run-up to the Karnataka elections.

Opposition Slams Government

The Indian National Congress slammed the central government over rising fuel prices and demanded that the government bring fuel under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“We demand that the government should bring petrol and diesel under GST and reduce central excise on fuel immediately,” Congress leader Pawan Khera said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Petrol prices can be cut by Rs 25 per litre, but the government isn’t doing it, tweeted Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Centre To Meet Oil Companies Today

The government is seriously considering the matter of rising oil prices and is looking to resolve the issue within 2-3 days, Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah told reporters on Tuesday.

Shah said Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was expected to meet the representatives of oil companies today to discuss options.

Crude Worries

Brent crude hit $80 a barrel on Thursday, the highest level since 2014. Production cuts imposed after an agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, as well as shrinking supplies from Venezuela have contributed to the rise in prices. The latest spike came on the back of the U.S. decision to exit the nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose trade sanctions on the OPEC member nation.

Brent crude traded 0.6 percent lower at $79.1 per barrel as of 9:35 a.m.