Petrol and diesel prices on Monday were hiked for the seventh day in a row as a rally in international oil prices took retail rates in India to new highs.
Petrol price was increased by 26 paise per litre and diesel by 29 paise, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
This pushed retail rates, which differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or VAT and freight charges, to their highest level.
The hike took petrol price in Delhi to a record Rs 88.99 per litre and to a highest-ever rate of Rs 95.46 a litre in Mumbai.
Diesel rate climbed to Rs 79.35 a litre in Delhi and to Rs 86.34 in Mumbai.
Rajasthan, which levies the highest VAT on fuel in the country, had the highest petrol and diesel prices.
In Sriganganagar town of the state, petrol soared to Rs 99.56 and diesel to Rs 91.48 per litre.
The Rajasthan government had late last month cut VAT on petrol and diesel by 2 per cent. Despite this, the state has the highest VAT at 36 per cent plus Rs 1,500 per kilolitre road cess on petrol. On diesel, the state levies 26 per cent and Rs 1,750 per kilolitre road cess.
Branded or additive mixed petrol on Sunday crossed Rs 100-mark at some places in states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Branded petrol at Sriganganagar was priced at Rs 102.34 a litre and similar grade diesel at Rs 95.15.
The main difference between regular and premium fuel grades is the octane number. Regular fuel has a lower octane number — 87, while premium fuel generally gets a 91 octane rating or higher.
Octane number is a measure of the ignition quality of fuel — higher the number, the less susceptible is the fuel to ‘knocking’ when burnt in a standard engine.
In seven straight days, prices have gone up by Rs 2.04 per litre for petrol and Rs 2.22 for diesel.
The relentless hike in prices has been criticised by the opposition parties including Congress that has demanded an immediate cut in taxes to ease the burden on the common man.
A six-hour bandh called by the party in Odisha affected normal life on Monday.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan last week had told Parliament that the government is not considering a reduction in excise duty to cool rates from their record highs.
Central and state taxes make up for over 61 per cent of the retail selling price of petrol and about 56 per cent of diesel.
Eqwires Research Analyst
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