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NEW DELHI: Retail price of petrol hits a new record high on Tuesday in Delhi with oil marketing companies (OMCs) increasing pump prices by 35 paise a litre to 86.05. Diesel prices were also up by 35 paise a litre to retail at 76.23 a litre.

Diesel was retailing at a record high in Mumbai at 83.03 a litre. . On 30 July, 2020, diesel had peaked to an all-time high of 81.94 a litre in Delhi. OMCs started increasing auto fuel prices since early January, after holding steady for 29 days.

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The Centre has, however, not responded to calls to lower taxes on transportation fuels. In 2020-21, India, the third-largest oil importer globally, had raised taxes on petrol and diesel by 13 and 16, respectively, in two tranches, through a special additional excise duty, besides road and infrastructure cess. Central and state taxes, and dealers’ commission, are added to the refinery gate price of auto fuels to arrive at the retail price.

The cost of the Indian basket of crude, which comprises Oman, Dubai and Brent crude, was at $55.17 a barrel on 22 January. Following the covid outbreak, crude prices had plunged to $19.90 in April before recovering to $49.84 a barrel in December, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed. It averaged at $56.43, $69.88 and $60.47 per barrel in FY18, FY19 and FY20, respectively.

All eyes are now on the next meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec)-plus scheduled to be held on 3 February. The Opec-plus’s decision will be significant, as it contributes to about 83% of India’s oil imports.

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