New Delhi: Amid declining Brent crude oil rates, petrol prices were reduced by 25 paise today and that of diesel by 7 paise. Today’s price reduction is the ninth consecutive one this month during which it touched an all-time high of ₹ 84 per litre in Delhi and ₹ 91.34 in Mumbai.
Petrol price has now receded below the ₹ 81 mark in Delhi to ₹ 80.85 a litre. In Mumbai, petrol costs ₹ 86.33, Chennai ₹ 84.02 and Kolkata ₹ 82.71. Among the metro cities, petrol remain the highest in Mumbai because of higher local sales tax or VAT levied by the Maharashtra government. For diesel, Chennai pays the highest rate of ₹ 79.02 among the four metro cities.
Diesel costs ₹ 74.73 in Delhi, ₹ 78.33 in Mumbai and ₹ 76.58 in Kolkata.
Although both petrol and diesel are cheaper in Delhi than the other 3 metros, yet Delhiites prefer to go to the neighbouring cities of Noida, Gurgaon or Gurugram and Ghaziabad to fuel their vehicle tanks because the rates are even more cheaper there. The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, both BJP ruled, had dropped VAT by ₹ 2.5 from October 5 following prodding by the Centre. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has however refused to budge so far despite a strike by fuel retailers demanding a cut in VAT.
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Although car buyers find diesel vehicles to be more attractive than the ones running on petrol, yet the price gap between the two automobile fuels have been narrowing down. In Delhi, petrol costs just ₹ 6.12 more than diesel. In Mumbai the price gap is ₹ 8, Chennai ₹ 5 and Kolkata ₹ 6.13.
The price gap is in sharp contrast to that of ₹ 20 in 2012. Even in June 2017, the petrol-diesel price gap was ₹ 11 in Delhi and ₹ 16.8 in Mumbai. In Odisha, petrol is already cheaper than diesel.
Under pressure from sharp sell-offs in stock markets, global crude oil prices are down by around 1% today. Brent crude oil has fallen by more than $10 in the last 3 weeks.
State-run oil retailers are already bearing a loss of Re 1 on every litre of petrol and diesel sold in the country after Union finance minister Arun Jaitley asked them to bear the cut and provide relief to the common man.