Fuel prices rose on Monday again after a days pause with oil marketing companies increasing the pump price of petrol by 5 paisa and diesel by 13 paisa per litre in Delhi.
In the national capital, petrol price on Monday stood at Rs 80.43 per litre while that of diesel at Rs 80.53 a litre.
With this increase, fuel prices have moved up on 22 of the last 23 days (with no rise on Sunday). Petrol prices, however, were unchanged for an additional day in between after the daily revision based on dynamic pricing was reinstated by OMCs.
Since the daily price revision resumed on June 7, petrol price has increased Rs 9.17 and diesel rose by Rs 11.14 in the national capital. In the other cities the magnitude of increase was similar.
During the past 23 days, the quantum of price hike gradually declined from around 60 paise raise for a few days, immediately post the resumption of daily price revision, to less than 20 paise during the past few days and now even less than 10 paisa per litre.
In a historic development, the price of diesel surged above that of petrol in the national capital during this period. It continues to remain higher even though on Saturday the quantum of petrol price hike was higher than that of diesel.
Officials in oil marketing companies said that it is hard to predict which of the two fuels will be priced higher in the Capital as the gap between the two is almost negligible. But petrol prices have shown more volatility in international markets that may take it ahead once again in coming days.
Apart from Delhi, the retail prices of petrol and diesel have followed the traditional path in other metros with petrol being priced at a premium of between Rs 5 and 8 per litre. The difference between the auto fuel prices in Delhi and other metros is because of the taxation structure.
While both petrol and diesel are at similar levels of taxes (state and centre) in Delhi, it is higher for petrol in many other Indian cities.
Globally diesel is priced a tad higher than petrol. In India too, the base price of diesel is slightly higher than petrol but taxation at central and state levels changed the complexion of retail prices.
If the price of petroleum products and crude hold their positions in global markets, then petrol and diesel prices rise may stop for a longer period and we may even see marginal fall in prices.
Fuel prices have been increasing since June 7 when oil companies began the daily price revision mechanism after a hiatus of 82 days during the lockdown.