People were fooled by offering a relief of one paise per liter after consecutive 16 days, when the prices of petroleum fuels got lowered, after a consecutive hike of about half a month. These Prices have been reduced by one paisa per liter in the metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata. Petrol, diesel prices still near all-time highs in some cities.
The prices of Petrol in metropolitan cities is now revised as : Delhi: Rs 78.42 per litre; Mumbai: 86.23; Kolkata: 81.05 and lastly Chennai: 81.42. It is said that the fuel prices follow different tariff regime from state to state due to local taxes and levies. It is said that IOC website had erroneously announced a cut of 60 paise in the petrol price earlier, which had been rectified now. Thus, only one paisa per liter benefit will accrue to the consumers.
The Union Government is facing a lot of criticism from the cross-section of the society for the continued increase in petrol and diesel prices. It is reported that in the past 16 days price hike was a result of higher global crude oil prices. Moreover, weakness in the rupee against the US dollar could have been another important factor. The government had communicated its will to see it at short-term as well as long-term solutions for rising domestic fuel prices.
In India, petrol and diesel prices are directly connected to Singapore prices of the products. Arab Gulf diesel prices also govern them to a certain extent. Raw oil prices have fallen to $75 a barrel as both important countries– Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to normalize supply of it. Consequently, the prices of crude prices have risen to their highest level since 2014.
Busy in finding out a long-term solution, oil ministry in the Union Government has given an in-principle nod to the Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) to launch futures on petrol and diesel.
The price rise in petroleum products in India is always a big political issue. Major opposition parties like Congress and regional parties are agitated on this account. It is feared that the situation can culminate in a law and order situation if the price rises remain unabated for such a long period. The agriculture too depends on the petroleum products in India, since irrigation and other activities always demand consumption of diesel.