Petrol and diesel prices across the country maintained their climb on Tuesday with a 47 paise and 57 paise hike in prices of the two fuels. This is the 10th straight price hike in the prices of the two fuels after oil marketing companies had stopped daily price revisions between March 16 and June 6.
A litre of petrol in Mumbai now costs ₹83.62 while a litre of diesel costs ₹73.75. In Delhi, customers will have to shell out ₹ ₹76.73/litre for petrol while diesel per litre cost now stands at ₹75.19. Chennai locals will have to pay ₹80.37 for a litre of petrol and ₹73.17 for each litre of diesel. Over in Kolkata, the two prices stand at 78.55 and ₹70.84.
The rising fuel prices has resulted in household budgets going haywire while the opposition has begun flaying the government for it. Congress' Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter on Monday to slam the hikes. "Middle class, poor pay for gifts crony capitalists get," he had tweeted.
While individual consumers are complaining about the price hikes, transport associations in various parts of the country are also feeling the pinch. "This will have a debilitating effect on public transport sector which is already under severe duress due to policy apathy," said Prasanna Patwardhan, President, Bus and Cabs Operators Confederation of India, BOCI. "These hikes will force operators to pass on the hike to passengers, sending ticket prices through the roof. It will have a cascading effect on overall health of the economy."
Voices in favour of bringing fuel prices under Goods and Services Tax are gaining decibels but such a move remains unlikely with state governments expected to oppose it. Many of the state governments have increased tax on the two fuels in order to recover revenue lost during the national lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19.
The price per litre of the two fuels vary from state to state because of different rates of local taxes and VAT imposed.
Sources indicated to news agency IANS that fuel price hikes are likely to continue till the end of June even if the quantum of increase is reduced. These sources in the oil public sector oil companies reportedly said that the hikes could shortly be around 30 to 40 paise per litre. (Full report here)
Even still, there could be even more burden on the end consumer with prices of commodities possibly shooting up, one of many consequences of hiking fuel prices.