Petrol and diesel prices on Tuesday were hiked for the sixth time this month, propelling prices to cross the Rs 100-a-litre-mark in places from Nanded in Maharashtra to Rewa in Madhya Pradesh to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Petrol price was hiked by 27 paise a litre and diesel by 30 paise per litre, according to a price notification by state-owned fuel retailers.
The increase took petrol and diesel prices to their highest-ever level across the country. In Delhi, petrol now comes for Rs 91.80 per litre and diesel is priced at Rs 82.36.
This was the sixth increase in prices since May 4, when the state-owned oil firms ended an 18-day hiatus in rate revision they observed during assembly elections in states like West Bengal.
The price increase led to petrol rates crossing the Rs 100-mark in more places of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges. Rajasthan levies the highest value-added tax (VAT) on petrol in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh.
Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan had the costliest petrol and diesel in the country at Rs 102.70 per litre and Rs 95.06 a litre respectively. Also in Rajasthan, petrol crossed the Rs 100-mark in Jaisalmer (Rs 100.71) and Bikaner (Rs 100.70) while it neared that mark in Barmer (Rs 99.82).
Petrol in several districts of Madhya Pradesh, including Shahdol (Rs 102.06), Rewa (Rs 102.04), Chhindwara (Rs 101.67) and Balaghat (Rs 101.98) crossed the physiological mark. It neared that mark in Indore (Rs 99.90 a litre) and Bhopal (Rs 99.83).
If rates continue to raise, Bhopal will be the first state capital to see petrol at Rs 100. In Nanded district of Maharashtra, petrol was being sold at Rs 100.30.
In six increases, petrol price has risen by Rs 1.41 per litre and diesel by Rs 1.63.
After raising petrol price by a record Rs 21.58 per litre and diesel by Rs 19.18 since the government raised excise duty to an all-time high in March last year, state-owned fuel retailers, IOC, BPCL and HPCL had reduced petrol price by 67 paise a litre and diesel by 74 paise per litre effected between March 24 and April 15.
Oil companies, who have in recent months resorted to unexplained freeze in rate revision, had hit a pause button after cutting prices marginally on April 15. This coincided with electioneering hitting peak to elect new governments in five states including West Bengal.
No sooner had voting ended, oil companies indicated an impending increase in retail prices in view of firming trends in international oil markets. They said prices have been on a continuous uptrend since April 27.
Central and state taxes make up for 60% of the retail selling price of petrol and over 54% of diesel. The union government levies Rs 32.90 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 31.80 on diesel.
In Mumbai, the petrol price was hiked to Rs 98.12 a litre on Tuesday from Rs 97.86, while diesel rates were increased to Rs 89.48 from Rs 89.17, the price notification showed.