While petrol rates have been revised in step with the steep rise in international rates, oil firms used the newly accorded freedom to increase diesel price in small dozes to effect the second price adjustment in one month.
The increase announced is excluding local sales tax or VAT and the actual hike for consumers would be more after the incidence of duty is included. Petrol price in Delhi will go up by almost Rs 1.80 per litre after taking into account 19 per cent VAT. Diesel rates would go up by 51 paise. New rates for petrol in Delhi would be Rs 69.05 per litre, while a litre of diesel will cost Rs 48.16.
Petrol price was last revised on January 18 when the price was cut by 30 paise to Rs 67.26 a litre in Delhi. The reduction in rates on that day coincided with the government decision to give oil firms freedom to raise diesel prices in small monthly dozes to eliminate all of the losses on the fuel. Oil firms hiked diesel price on that day by 50 paise to Rs 47.65 a litre in Delhi.
Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest fuel retailer, said international petrol prices have since last revision gone up. Crude oil price has increased from $ 109.08 per barrel to $ 113.24, while international gasoline or petrol prices have risen from $ 119.59 a barrel to $ 128.57.
State-owned companies have been "compelled to pass on the increase in petrol prices to consumers as the they have already suffered losses on sale of petrol so far and trends in international oil market as well as rupee-US dollar exchange rate indicate continued strength." In fact, currently petrol prices are hovering around $ 132.80 per barrel. "The trends of international oil prices and INR-USD exchange rate shall be closely monitored and the same shall be reflected in future price changes," IOC said in statement.
The company said diesel prices were last revised upward by Rs 0.45 per litre (excluding VAT) on January 18, which resulted in losses on sale of nation's most consumed fuel reducing to Rs 9.15 per litre. "However, since the last price revision, international diesel prices have also shown continued uptrend. As a result, under-recovery (loss) has gone up to Rs 10.72 per litre which now, with current upward revision of HSD prices by Rs 0.45 per litre, shall stand reduced to Rs 10.27," it said.
In addition to loss on sale of diesel, state-owned fuel retailers are losing Rs 31.60 per litre on kerosene and Rs 481 per 14.2-kg cylinder of domestic cooking gas (LPG). "Projected under-recovery of IOC on three sensitive products is expected to cross Rs 86,000 crore and of the industry (IOC plus BPCL and HPCL) beyond Rs 1,63,000 crore during current year," the statement added.