Petrol prices have been increased steeply by Rs 7.50 a litre from midnight. The increase was on the cards with the rupee continuing its free fall against the US dollar. The rupee fell to a record life low of 56 per dollar on Wednesday.
State-owned oil firms said they will raise petrol price by Rs 6.28 per litre excluding local sales tax or VAT. The hike translates into Rs 7.50 per litre in Delhi. Petrol in Delhi currently costs Rs 65.64 a litre and after the increase it will be priced at Rs 73.14 per litre.
Earlier in the day, the Left parties had opposed any such move saying it will be a cruel blow to the people reeling under price rise.
With rupee depreciation leading to jump in oil import bill, petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy on Tuesday said there is an immediate need to raise fuel prices, but refused to say when the hike will actually take place. “It (price increase) is very essential but (before hiking rates) we have to talk to political parties,” he told reporters.
The government had decontrolled petrol price in June 2010 but rates were last increased on November 4 last year. This despite oil price rising by 14 per cent and 7 per cent fall in value of rupee against the US dollar. Price of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas were raised in June last year.
“If rupee depreciates by one against the US dollar, our oil companies lose Rs 8,000 crore (annually),” Reddy said.
Petrol price in major cities after hike
Delhi – Rs 65.64 — 73.14 after hike
Mumbai — Rs 70.66 – Rs 78.16 after hike
Kolkata – Rs 70.03 – Rs 77.53
Chennai – Rs 69.55 – Rs. 77.05
Pune – Rs 70.76 – Rs 78.97
Bhopal – Rs 70.06 — Rs 77.56