Petrol, diesel prices hiked 2 days after Karnataka election

Petrol prices are now just 1 cent a litre off an all time high at many stations across New Zealand

Petrol prices were hiked by 17 paise and diesel prices by 21 paise, applicable from 6:00 a.m. on 14th May 2018. Petrol prices are up by 17 paise a litre in Delhi and Mumbai, and 18 paise a litre in Kolkata and Chennai, according to the Indian Oil Corporation. Petrol price was seen at Rs 74.80 per litre, the highest since September 2013, and diesel was seen at Rs 66.14 per litre. Apart from resulting in higher retail prices of petrol and diesel, higher oil prices increase India's oil import bill and shoots up current account deficit and also results in higher subsidy pay outs.

No changes in the prices of petrol or diesel were made since April 26 because of the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly elections.

OMC including Hindustan Petroleum Corp Limited (HPCL), Indian Oil Corp (IOCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Limited (BPCL), decide the final retail petrol price by taking into consideration the global crude basket, plus states' Value Added Tax (VAT) and the government's excise duty.

Petrol and diesel prices were last revised on April 24 when they were hiked by 13 paise each.

The finance ministry has maintained a tough stance on excise duty cut to rein in rising price of petrol and diesel often passing the buck to states to cut higher duties.

The prices remained constant despite fluctuations in global crude rates. We can expect further price hikes in the coming days. The rise in crude oil prices will increase the liability as the rupee has also started depreciating against the dollar.

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Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh had last week said that the state-owned firms were "temporarily moderating" prices to avoid sharp spikes and panic among consumers.

State-owned oil marketing companies are estimated to have lost about Rs 500 crore as they absorbed higher cost resulting from the spike in worldwide oil rates and fall in rupee against the USA dollar. The move was made keeping the day-to-day variation of global crude prices in mind. The price was $75.26 a barrel on 11 May.

The government had in June 2010 freed petrol price from its control and the diesel rates were deregulated in October 2014.

Government faced strong criticism for holding on to higher duty on petrol and diesel to meet revenue.

The Central Government had cut excise duty by Rs 2 per litre in October 2017, when petrol prices reached Rs 70.88 per litre in Delhi and diesel Rs 59.14.

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