Global cues pushed fuel prices to increase again across the country on Thursday, adding more misery to the common man already grappling with rising food prices amid shrinking income.
However, unlike uniform price movement earlier, oil marketing companies on Thursday continued with their practice adopted more than two months back to increase the price of petrol a tad higher than diesel offering some relief to the transport sector.
Accordingly, while the price of petrol increased by 35 paise to Rs 101.54 a litre in Delhi, diesel prices increased by only 15 paise per litre to Rs 89.87 a litre in Delhi.
Across the country as well, petrol prices increased in the range of 30-40 paise per litre, diesel prices also increased by 10-20 paise per litre.
Before Thursday, oil marketing companies had kept fuel prices unchanged for the past couple of days to get a sense of evolving global oil prices after news of two giant oil producers Saudi Arabia and UAE reaching some sort of agreement on production of oil by OPEC.
In the city of Mumbai, where petrol prices crossed Rs 100-mark for the first time ever on May 29, the fuel price reached a new high of Rs 107.54 per litre on Monday. Diesel price in the city is also at Rs 97.45, the highest among metros.
Petrol prices in all metros have now crossed Rs 100 per litre-mark and OMC officials said if the international oil prices continue to firm up, prices may rise further.
With Thursday’s price hike, fuel prices have now increased for 40 days and remained unchanged for 36 days since May 1. The 40 increases have taken up petrol prices by Rs 11.14 per litre in Delhi. Similarly, diesel prices have increased by Rs 9.14 per litre in the national capital.
Consumers can now only expect that any further raise in fuel price is checked as OMCs start cutting the retail price of petrol and diesel over the next few days to provide relief. But with crude still around $75 a barrel mark in wake of falling US inventories and rising demand, the next action of OMCs would be awaited.