Goodbye 2022: The rise and fall of fuel prices in India this year

The prices of motor fuels like petrol and diesel saw a major rise in March and April this year and a slight slash in July, and have remained mostly th
File photo of a petrol pump staff refilling fuel in a two-wheeler. (Amit Sharma)
File photo of a petrol pump staff refilling fuel in a two-wheeler.

Fuel prices often fluctuate with revision in crude oil prices or other global events. As the year 2022 comes to an end, we look back and reflect on all important events related to the rise and fall of fuel prices in the country this year. The first hike in prices of motor fuels this year came on March 22, after a pause of over four months. Price of both petrol and diesel was hike by 80 paise per litre.

The rise was already anticipated due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which led to surge in global crude oil prices. This resulted in many consumers rushing to fill up the tanks while some also resorted to hoarding fuel. The fuel prices were also expected to be revised by Indian oil companies after assembly elections in five states which ended in the first half of March.

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Price of petrol crossed the 100-mark in Delhi on March 29 after being increased by 80 paise a litre. After the price hike of motor fuels continued through the month of March, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that disruptions in supply chains and the resultant increase in global crude oil prices due to the war between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in the record hike in motor fuel prices.

Motorcyclists wait in queues to get their vehicles filled with fuel, at a petrol pump. (Representational photo) (HT_PRINT)
Motorcyclists wait in queues to get their vehicles filled with fuel, at a petrol pump. (Representational photo) (HT_PRINT)

And while global crude prices do have a big impact on the price paid by people for fuel in any country, the taxes and levies imposed on both fuels in India has also climbed steadily over time. At present, India remains the most expensive country in the sub-continent.

After surging 14 times through March and first week of April, the prices of motor fuels remained unchanged on April 7, bringing monetary relief to commuters, and thereafter remained stable through the year. However, in May, Union Mininster Rameswar Teli said that the price of petrol and diesel will remain volatile until India increases its oil production to reduce dependence on international markets for its fuel requirements.

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In July, the central government announced major excise duty on petrol and diesel in order to bring relief to motorists and common people, leading to the government reducing excise duty on petrol and diesel by 8 per litre and 6 per litre respectively. With this, petrol and diesel across India became cheaper by 9.5 per litre and 7 per litre respectively.

In September, global crude oil prices dropped below $90 per barrel for the first time since February but this did not lead to any further slashing of motor fuel prices in India. The prices of these motor fuels have remained stable since then.

Between July 2021 and 2022, petrol prices in India saw 78 hikes and only seven reductions in price. Diesel saw as many as 76 price hikes during the same period, with just 10 reductions. The information was shared by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in the Parliament, replying to a question on fuel price hike in India from the Opposition.

First Published Date: 26 Dec 2022, 19:41 PM IST

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