Petrol near 5-year high in Delhi, opposition slams it as ‘poll-politics’

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New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) With the resumption of dynamic pricing system for transport fuels on Monday by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), petrol prices in the national capital shot up to Rs 74.80 per litre. Opposition slammed this price rise as “poll-politics”.

The IOC had suspended dynamic pricing system for transport fuels for 19 days to “avoid creating unnecessary panic among the consumers”. However, most observers said that the suspension had been done because of impending Karnataka elections.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Monday: “Karnataka finishes voting, Fuel prices rise to a 4 yr. high! The Key Principle of Modinomics: fool as many people as you can, as often as you can.”

In Delhi, petrol was priced at Rs 74.80 per litre on Monday, highest since September 2013, when it had hit Rs 76.06 a litre. The price was last changed on April 24 when it was at Rs 74.63 per litre.

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In the other metropolitan cities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai also petrol prices were at multi-year high levels of Rs 77.50, Rs 82.65 and Rs 77.61 a litre on Monday.

The previous highs in these cities were Rs 78.03 (Kolkata, August 2014), Rs 83.62 (Mumbai, September 2013) and Rs 77.48 (Chennai, September 2013).

Reacting to the price hike, former finance minister P. Chidambaram tweeted: “There we go again. More taxes on petrol and diesel, more burden on the consumer. The Karnataka election was only an interval.”

Apart from petrol prices, diesel also rose to a fresh record high after the last price movement on April 24. Prices of diesel on Tuesday, in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai were Rs 66.14, Rs 68.68, Rs 70.43 and Rs 69.79 per litre, respectively.

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Even the wholesale price inflation of the country shot up for the month of April at 3.18 per cent due to high food and fuel prices.

Prices did not change in the last 19 days, despite rise in international crude oil prices. Brent crude oil is currently priced at over $76 per barrel.

However, IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh on May 8 had said the dymanic pricing was suspended temporarily despite a rise in international rates, to avoid panic among consumers.

“We have decided to temporarily moderate retail prices by not passing on the required increase as we believe the current international oil product prices are not supported by fundamentals. So we have decided to wait for a while,” Singh had said, adding: “Passing them on to consumers will unnecessarily create panic.”

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–IANS

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