Oil companies have increased the price of diesel today by 15 paise per litre. The hike comes after a gap of four days. Diesel price was last hiked by 12 paise on Monday, July 20.
The price of a litre of diesel is now inching towards ₹82 per litre mark in the national capital. It now stands at ₹81.79 per litre. It has now increased the gap with the price of petrol by ₹1.36 per litre in Delhi.
Petrol price has remained stable since June 29 when the price was last revised by the oil companies. Diesel prices overtook petrol prices in Delhi for the first time in June after the oil companies resumed price revision after the national lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic was lifted.
In Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, petrol was sold at an unchanged price of ₹87.19, ₹83.63, ₹82.10 per litre, respectively.
Fuel demand growth in India, the world's third-biggest oil importer and consumer, plunged to historic lows in April when the government imposed the lockdown.
Since June 7, the oil companies began revising fuel prices after keeping them unchanged for more than 80 days during the lockdown. Till now, the petrol and diesel prices have increased by ₹9.5 and ₹12 per litre.
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Further, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the increase in excise duties by the central government and value-added tax (VAT) by state governments to partly offset revenue losses further impacted fuel price gap between petrol and diesel. Taxes on the two fuels now account for almost two-third’s of what Indians pay at the pump, making retail prices of petrol and diesel in the country among the highest in Asia.
Rising diesel prices have already triggered several protests across the country. Truckers body AIMTC hinted that it may hike freight charges by 20 per cent in view of rising fuel price.
State companies - Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum - own about 90% of India's retail fuel outlets. Rates vary from state to state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or VAT.