For the 18th consecutive day, the price of diesel increased by around 40 paise to cost Rs 79.88 per litre in Delhi. The price of petrol remained unchanged at Rs 79.76 a litre, making diesel more expensive that petrol for the first time.
However, diesel continues to be cheaper than petrol in cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. In Bengaluru, for example, the price of petrol on June 24 is Rs 82.35 per litre, while diesel costs Rs 75.96 per litre. The price difference between a litre of petrol and diesel is Chennai, Hyderabad and other cities is about Rs 4-6.
This difference in price of pteril and diesel, as per reports, was as high as Rs 30 per litre in 2011.
In the past 18 days, the price of petrol and diesel have increased by around Rs 10 per litre.
After an 82-day hiatus during the lockdown, oil marketing companies started revising fuel prices from June 7, taking petrol and diesel prices to new highs every day.
This increase in rates since June 7 is the highest consecutive rise. When petrol and diesel pricing was deregulated in April 2002, oil companies revised rates every fortnight in line with the cost. They switched to daily price revision in May 2017 to allow cost to reflect instantaneously in retail rates.
The government hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 3 per litre each on March 14 and again on May 5 by Rs 10 per litre for petrol and Rs 13 on diesel. The two hikes gave the government Rs 2 lakh crore in additional tax revenues.
Oil PSUs Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), instead of passing on the excise duty hikes to customers, adjusted them against the fall in the retail rates that was warranted because of fall in international oil prices to two decade low.
The last time prices of petrol and diesel were close to current prices was in October 16, 2018 when the price of diesel increased to Rs 75.69 per litre in Delhi. The highest-ever petrol price was on October 4, 2018, when rates soared to Rs 84 a litre in Delhi.
When rates had peaked in October 2018, the government had cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre each. State-owned oil companies were asked to absorb another Rs 1 a litre to help cut retail rates by Rs 2.50 a litre.