Petrol, diesel prices hit all-time high

Petrol, diesel prices hit all-time high

The rupee, which lost 10 paise against the USA dollar in late afternoon trade on Monday, ended at a new record low of 71.10.

In a surprise announcement from minister of energy Jeff Radebe on Monday afternoon, fuel prices will remain unchanged for September, except for a 4.9 cents per litre increase in the retail margin of petrol to cater for the annual salary increase for forecourt attendants, cashiers and other admin staff. Petrol prices increased by Rs 0.31 per litre and touched Rs 79.15 per litre in Delhi. "The situation in Iran has also made situation tensed and they are also a factor for the hike in fuel prices", he said. There are reports that the devaluation of the Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar and hike in crude oil price in the global market could be the two reasons behind the persistent fuel price hike. Due to sanctions on Tehran from the US, India had to reduce its imports from Iran, subsequently reducing the total fuel availability in the country. "Secondly, global currencies have weakened against the USA dollar", he said.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra transporters, burdened with diesel price hikes for a fortnight, have threatened to agitate and increase freight rates by 10-15% if there is no control or reduction in rates.

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State-owned oil firms had in mid-June last year dumped the 15-year practice of revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month in favour of daily price revisions.

The price of Brent crude oil went up to $78.05 per barrel on Tuesday from $77.37 per barrel on Monday. Saudi Arabia, which is world's second largest oil producer, too is contributing to keep the prices on an upward trend.

Petrol and diesel prices continue to rise hitting fresh record high today. If this happens, it will be the first time since 2002-03 that the country will have experienced double digit inflation in petrol-diesel prices for three years in a row.