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Petrol and diesel prices remain unchanged for the second consecutive day after an upward rally for 12 days in a row since 9th February 2021. The oil marketing companies have kept the pricing of petrol and diesel at a pause from Wednesday after touching an all-time high on Tuesday.

(Also Read: Will GST bring much-awaited relief from petrol and diesel price rally?)

On February 25, the petrol price in New Delhi was just 7 paise short of 91, at 90.93 per litre. On Thursday, per litre petrol prices in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were 91.12, 97.34 and 92.97 respectively. On the other hand, the most popular and widely used fuel of the country, diesel was priced at 81.32 per litre. Per litre pricing for the fuel in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were 84.20, 88.44 and 86.37 respectively.

Among the other major cities, per litre petrol price on Thursday in Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Trivandrum were 93.98, 91.50, 87.50, 94.54, 97.96 and 92.65 respectively. On the other hand, per litre diesel prices in these cities were 86.21, 88.47, 81.02, 88.69, 90.27 and 87.22 respectively.

The retail pump prices of both petrol and diesel have shot up across the country due to the increase in prices of crude oil in the international market, on which India relies for 85% of its fuel needs. Besides that, heavy taxation is also playing a key role in the surge of auto fuel prices across India that building up the cost across various sectors and resulting in inflation as well.

The central government tax on fuel makes up for 32.98 per litre of the final petrol price in New Delhi and sales tax or VAT by the state government adds up to 19.55. On diesel, the central excise duty adds up to 31.83 and while the VAT adds up to 10.99. Additionally, the final retail price also includes a dealer’s commission at a minimum of 2.60 on petrol and 2 on diesel per litre. Hence, around 50% of the final price per litre of petrol and diesel each are attributed to the central and state government taxes.

Due to the latest price hikes, petrol prices in several cities of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh crossed the 100 per litre mark as well. While the pressure is building on the motorists and common man due to the relentless price hike, the upward spiral of petrol and diesel prices are likely to continue, as there is no indication that the central government will reduce the cess of fuel.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has termed such high levels of indirect taxes as regressive and called for the calibrated unwinding of high retail taxes ion both petrol and diesel. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said that the fuel price hike is not only affecting the people with cars and bikes but the common people as well.

Opposition leader Priyanka Gandhi took to Twitter and used cricketing terms to target the central government over the price hike of petrol and diesel. “Petrol and diesel prices are on their way to the century mark," said the Congress leader slamming the Modi government.

Meanwhile, state governments such as West Bengal, Rajasthan, Assam and Meghalaya have introduced tax relaxation on petrol and diesel prices in a bid to offer some relief. The West Bengal government announced a reduction of tax by 1 per litre on petrol and diesel. Assam government too reduced tax on petrol and diesel by 5 per litre. Meghalaya government introduced the biggest relief on petrol and diesel prices by 7.40 and 7.10 per litre respectively. The northeastern state reduced VAT on fuel to 20% from 31.62%. Rajasthan government too reduced the VAT on fuel from 38% to 36%.

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