Softening crude keeps Oilcos from raising fuel prices

Fuel prices in the country have remained steady for over a fortnight now as softening crude has kept Oilcos from revising the retail prices.

Accordingly, petrol continues to be priced at Rs 91.17 a litre and diesel Rs 81.47 a litre in the capital on Friday. Fuel prices have not been revised now for 20 days.

Across the country as well the petrol and diesel price remain unchanged. But the pause has not helped in bringing down fuel prices that have crossed Rs 100 per litre (petrol) mark in several parts of the country.

Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said in Parliament on Tuesday that states and Centre should look at the taxes on petroleum products to see if relief can be provided to the consumers.

Since the beginning of February crude has gained more than $7 per barrel that pushed OMCs to increase fuel prices on 14 occasions raising the prices by Rs 4.22 per litre for petrol and by Rs 4.34 a litre for diesel in Delhi. Crude has now slipped 7 per cent in last five days and is now sitting a tab lower around $ 63.5 a barrel on the back of rising US inventory.

The petrol and diesel prices have increased 26 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.46 and Rs 7.60 per litre respectively so far this year.

Officials in public sector oil companies said that retail price may rise again once daily revision starts post voting in various state elections. The crude is expected to move up further on demand rise and continued production cut by OPEC+ in April.