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Petrol, diesel prices hiked by over 80 paise after 4 months

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Petrol, diesel prices hiked by over 80 paise after 4 months
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New Delhi: After staying unchanged for over four months, Indian state fuel retailers will raise petrol and diesel pump prices by 80 paise per litre from Tuesday.

This would be the first fuel price hike since November 2021, news agency Reuters reported as having been informed by two retailers.

The latest price increase means consumers will pay less than 1 per cent more at the pump, despite a substantial increase in global oil prices since the conflict in Ukraine began last month, and a falling Indian rupee.

Prices of domestic LPG cylinders, which have not been increased since October last year, were hiked today by Rs 50 per cylinder.

Prices were supposed to start aligning with cost after counting of votes on March 10, but the ensuing start of the second half of the Budget Session meant that the price increases didn't happen.

On Tuesday, a litre of petrol rose to ₹ 96.21 at the Rajdhani Service Station in Delhi, while diesel rates increased to ₹ 87.47 per litre, reflecting an 80 paise increase from petrol costs of ₹ 95.41 on Monday, while diesel rates stood at ₹ 86.67 per litre.

The Centre had cut excise duty on November 4, 2021, to give relief from prices that had reached an all-time high level. The government had slashed the duty on petrol by ₹ 5 per litre and diesel by ₹ 10 a litre, leading to a substantial reduction in fuel prices.

Later in December 2021, the Delhi government had reduced the value-added tax (VAT) on petrol from 30 per cent to 19.40 per cent. With this, petrol prices in the national capital were slashed by ₹ 8.56 per litre.

India imports about 85 per cent of its oil needs, making it the world's third-biggest oil importer and consumer. The country's local petrol and diesel prices are linked to the international costs of the two fuels, which move proportionally to crude prices.

The benchmark Brent crude oil prices have risen sharply to nearly $120 per barrel on the escalation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and have put pressure on state fuel companies to increase the retail prices.

The government last week said it was keeping a close watch on evolving geopolitical developments and would make 'calibrated interventions' to keep fuel prices under control "to safeguard the interest of the common man."

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