New Delhi, July 7: After more than a month, on Thursday, petrol and diesel prices were hiked for the first time. The hike in fuel prices continued for the third straight day on Saturday.
The hike has been announced by the three state-owned fuel retailers, IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL).
"After the price hike, petrol prices now stand at Rs 75.98 in Delhi. In other three metro cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, petrol prices stand at Rs. 83.37, Rs. 78.66 and Rs. 78.85, respectively. Diesel is now sold for Rs. 67.76 in Delhi on Saturday. In other cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, diesel is sold to retail consumers for Rs. 71.90, Rs. 70.31 and 71.52, respectively," reported NDTV.
Petrol and diesel prices were hiked on the back of rising international rates and weakening rupee. The three state-owned fuel retailers had not revised petrol and diesel prices since June 26.
"We had not changed prices for a few days in anticipation OPEC decision to raise production leading to softening of international rates. But the 1 million barrels of additional production, which was to kick-in from July, has been overdone by the Iran issue," IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh told PTI.
While the OPEC last month decided to raise production, the US is piling pressure on India, China, and other buyers to end all imports of Iranian oil by a November 4 deadline in a bid to choke the Persian Gulf state's economic lifeline with sanctions over its nuclear programme.
Singh said Iran produces around 2.3 to 2.5 million barrels per day and the world searching for alternates to replace those volumes has put pressure on the prices.
The decision to hold on to rates was taken without any elections looming around, he said, adding international prices have risen post-OPEC decision and oil companies have to "adjust retail rates accordingly".
The hike in fuel prices has become a major political issue in the country. After the Karnataka's Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government during its maiden budget on Thursday decided to increase fuel prices, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre attacked Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for throwing a "fuel challenge" at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.