New Delhi: Petrol and diesel prices continued to be on a downward trend, tracking a fall in global oil prices. Petrol and diesel prices were today cut by 40 to 44 paise a litre in top cities, bringing further relief to consumers. Petrol prices today retailed at 74.07 in Delhi, 76.06 in Kolkata, 79.62 in Mumbai and 76.88 in Chennai. Diesel rates also saw a big cut today. Diesel prices today retailed at 68.89 in Delhi, 70.74 in Kolkata, 72.13 in Mumbai and 72.77 in Chennai. In Bangalore, petrol and diesel rates today retailed at 74.65 and 69.25, respectively.

With today’s price cut, petrol and diesel prices are down about 5 to 6 per litre so far this month. And compared to October 4 highs, diesel prices are down between 6.5 to 7 per litre in top cities. Similarly, petrol rates are down close to 10 to 11.7 per litre. Petrol price had touched a record high of 84 per litre in Delhi and 91.34 in Mumbai on October 4. Diesel on that day had peaked to an all-time high of 75.45 a litre in Delhi and 80.10 in Mumbai.

Global oil prices have fallen sharply in recent days amid concerns over a supply glut. International Brent crude oil futures dropped below $60 per barrel, pulled down by record Saudi Arabian production even as OPEC’s top producer pushes for supply cuts ahead of the group’s meeting in Austria next week.

Between August 16 and October 4, petrol price was hiked by 6.86 per litre and diesel by 6.73. On that day, the government decided to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by 1.50 per litre each and asked state-owned fuel retailers to subsidise prices by another Re 1 a litre by reducing their margins. Many states also matched that with a reduction in local sales tax or VAT.

The retail selling price of petrol and diesel in India is dependent on the international prices of benchmark fuel and the rupee-US dollar exchange rate. This is because a large proportion of country’s requirement is met through imports.

Apart from these factors, excise duty, VAT and dealer margin determine the final price the consumer pays at the pump in India. For example, based on 19 November diesel price in Delhi of 71.39 , the price charged to dealers by the company excluding VAT and excise duty was 44.52, according to oil retailer Indian Oil’s website. The excise duty component was 13.83, dealer commission 2.55 and VAT 10.49.

(With Agency Inputs)

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