Petrol & Diesel On the Rise

State oil companies have raised prices of petrol and diesel by Rs.5.64 per litre and Rs.3.72 per litre respectively since July 1 through daily revisions that have largely gone unnoticed.

In Delhi, petrol was being sold for Rs.68.73 a litre and diesel for Rs.57.05 on Wednesday, according to the website of IOC. On July 1, the prices of petrol and diesel were Rs.63.09 and Rs.53.33 a litre.

Prices in other states would vary due to local levies. Petrol, diesel as well as jet fuel, crude oil and natural gas are not in the ambit of GST and covers most goods and services, including petroleum products such as cooking gas and lubricants.

Prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and kerosene have historically been politically sensitive as these directly impact households' budget and have the potential to induce inflation. This is why prices of cooking gas and kerosene are still controlled.

Until June 15, state oil companies used to fortnightly revise prices to align them with international rates and factor in currency fluctuation though price hikes were skipped or delayed in some fortnights to avoid political controversy, especially during polls.

From June 16, companies switched to daily revision. This meant the price changes would be so small that it would skip the attention of most consumers or opposition parties.

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