So, why are petrol and diesel prices higher today than they were in May 2014? Other metro cities such as Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai too witness new multi-year highs at Rs 76.78, Rs 81.93 and Rs 76.85 per litre respectively, the Indian Oil website said.
The oil prices in India have been rising for last few weeks. Petrol prices were also recorded at a 55-month high.
Petrol in Delhi was Rs 74.08 per litre on Friday, April 20.
India imports 80 per cent of its crude oil requirement and any increase in prices in the global market leads to an increase in the price of petrol, diesel and LPG. Diesel price in Mumbai has hit an all-time high and has made the situation worse. Following decrease in value of Pakistani rupee against the USA dollar in the local market and an increase in crude oil prices in the worldwide market, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority is expected to raise the petroleum products prices by Rs5 per litre for the month of May. Apart from the crude oil prices, there is a possibility that the U.S. may once again impose sanctions on Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, leading to further supply reduction.
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Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also lashed out at the Modi government over the steep increase in fuel prices and said it has become clueless and floundering and is living off an oil bonanza.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that petroleum products need to be brought under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), adding that the Centre and states are slowly moving towards it.
The government is in a sweet spot as it continued to increase the taxes on petroleum products when the prices of petrol and diesel fell. The central government in October 2017 had reduced the excise duty by Rs 2 per litre, which provided moderate relief to the public. Back in September 2013, the price had touched Rs 74.10 a litre.
However, consumers did not enjoy the full benefit of a fall in crude price as governments quickly raised taxes on fuel to boost their revenue.