New Delhi: State-run fuel retailers once again decreased the price of petrol and diesel today by 21 paise and 27 paise, respectively. A litre of petrol now costs ₹ 71.72 in Delhi, ₹ 77.29 in Mumbai, ₹ 74.41 in Chennai and ₹ 73.75 in Kolkata. Diesel, on the other hand, costs ₹ 66.39 in Delhi, ₹ 69.48 in Mumbai, ₹ 70.09 in Chennai and ₹ 68.12 in Kolkata.
In Delhi, petrol is now back to where it was in February while diesel is at mid-May levels. Tracking international crude oil rates, petrol and diesel prices have been on a roller-coaster ride. The financial year began with stable oil prices, with petrol costing around ₹ 73-74 in Delhi, but around mid-August prices began to rise sharply almost daily. By October, petrol had peaked at ₹ 84 per litre in Delhi. It was around this time that analysts were predicting crude oil would cross $100 per barrel in the international market.
Read: Petrol is now cheaper than diesel in these cities
However, following concerns of oversupply and US President Donald Trump’s waiver to some nations to keep importing Iranian oil, prices slumped to a year’s low. Ahead of a key meeting of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Thursday, Trump is maintaining pressure on the producers’ cartel to cut oil prices further.
In India, speculation is rife that the government may use this opportunity to increase duty on petroleum products. Revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey has declined to comment, saying these things require certain analysis.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had reduced the excise duty on petrol and diesel by ₹ 1.5 per litre in October. With petrol prices at their lowest in this financial year, the government may reverse the reduction in excise duty, according to reports. A cut in excise duty by Re 1 adversely affects government revenue by ₹ 14,000 crore.