NEW DELHI :
As fuel falls under the essential services sector, petrol pumps have been asked to remain open across the country during the 21-day nationwide lockdown which began from yesterday. Attendants at petrol pumps have been advised to maintain social distancing and take all safety precautions while dealing with customers.
State-run fuel retailers review petrol, diesel prices everyday at 6 am after taking into account several factors like the international benchmark rates of fuel, price of Indian basket of crude oil and US dollar-rupee exchange rate. However, for the last 10 days there has been no change in petrol and diesel prices despite volatility in the international market.
Crude oil rates have fallen by more than 60% since their January highs but petrol and diesel prices have fallen by only around ₹6 during the period.
In Delhi, a litre of petrol is priced at ₹69.59 per litre and diesel at ₹62.29 per litre today. In Mumbai, petrol is selling at ₹75.30 per litre and diesel at ₹65.21 per litre. In Chennai, a litre of petrol will cost ₹72.28 per litre whereas diesel is now priced at ₹65.71 per litre. In Bengaluru, petrol is now selling at ₹71.97 and diesel at ₹64.41. In Hyderabad, petrol pumps are charging ₹73.97 for petrol and ₹67.82 for diesel. If you are in Gurgaon, you will have to shell out ₹70.21 for petrol and ₹62.08 for diesel.
Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has assured consumers that since petroleum falls under the essential services sector, there will be no shortage of fuel in India during the lockdown. With movements being restricted, the demand for fuel has fallen drastically this month. In the first two weeks alone, before the lockdown was imposed, fuel demand had fallen by 10%. Indian Oil, the country's largest refiner, said it has reduced crude processing by 25-30% due to a sharp drop in fuel demand.
"Petroleum is an essential services sector. We are working to ensure that not just consumers get uninterrupted supplies of petrol, diesel and LPG but also that the supply lines for the country's defence forces are secured," said Pradhan.