Petrol and diesel prices across the country were raised for the eleventh consecutive day today with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) passing on the increase in international fuel prices to the consumers. This follows the 19-day price freeze initiated by OMCs before the Karnataka polls.
Price of non-branded petrol in Delhi soared to Rs 77.47 per litre today, the highest price recorded in Delhi’s history, and a 30 paise per litre hike over Wednesday’sprice. The previous high for petrol price in Delhi was Rs 76 per liter in September 2013 when crude oil prices were hovering around $108-115 per barrel. Similarly, diesel prices in the national capital soared to Rs 68.53 per litre today, the highest recorded ever.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday at a press briefing argued that fuel taxes were necessary for country’s development. “As far as fuel prices are concerned, including the excise duty or other taxes thereupon, they are very clearly used for country’s development, for constriction of more national highways, more roads, more digital infrastructure, taking energy to those villages which were without energy for last so many years,” he said.
The price of Petrol has peaked at record levels in other metro cities too, including Rs 85.29 per litre in Mumbai, Rs 80.42 in Chennai and Rs 80.12 per litre in Kolkata. Price of every litre of non-branded diesel has also peaked at Rs 72.96 in Mumbai, Rs 72.35 in Chennai and Rs 71.08 in Kolkata.
Prasad added, “In view of the uncertainty in the crude prices globally, a new sense of urgency has developed. The govt is keen that instead of having an ad-hoc measure, it is desirable to have a long-term view that addresses not only the volatility but also takes care of the unnecessary ambiguity arising out of frequent ups and downs.”
Strong protest demonstrations and rallies are being organised in many places by the opposition parties. (News Report)