The price of petrol crossed ₹100 per litre in Mumbai on Saturday as state-run retailers raised fuel rates for the 15th time in 26 days, raising petrol rates by 26 paise per litre and diesel by 28 paise.
The latest hike made petrol ₹3.54 a litre costlier and diesel ₹4.16 since May 4, a day after the results of five assembly polls were declared.
Prices of auto fuels are at record levels across the country; diesel was sold at ₹92.17 a litre in the financial capital, the highest among all metro cities. Pump prices of petrol and diesel in Delhi on Saturday also made new records of ₹93.94 per litre and ₹84.89 a litre, respectively.
While fuel rates in Delhi are the benchmark for the entire country, retail prices of the two fuels differ from place to place because of variations in state taxes and local levies.
Consumers in several cities, particularly in states such as Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, are paying over ₹100 for one litre of petrol. Some of the cities selling the fuel over ₹100/ litre are Ratnagiri, Parbhani, Aurangabad, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jaisalmer, Ganganagar and Banswara.
Surging international oil rates and exorbitant domestic tax structure are two key reasons for high rates of petrol and diesel at pumps. Benchmark Brent crude rose marginally by 0.24% to $69.63 a barrel on Friday. Indian fuel retailers align pump prices of petrol and diesel with their international benchmark rates of the previous day. Even as international oil prices saw both upward and downward movements this month, pump rates of fuels in India moved only in the upward direction.
Pump prices of fuels are also high because of taxes. In Delhi, central levies account for 35.5% of petrol’s price and state taxes, 23%, according to official data of May 16. On diesel, central taxes are over 38.2% while state taxes are about 14.6%. Through 2020, as global crude prices fell, the central government raised excise duty on the fuel to shore up its finances.