India faces soaring petrol prices


New Delhi: After reaching unprecedented highs in Delhi and Mumbai, petrol prices touched a record high in Chennai, at Rs 79.79 (about 1.60 AUD) per litre on Tuesday.

With this, India’s fuel price breached its previous record of Rs 79.55 in the city, hit in September 2013.

Across the four metropolitan cities, prices rose around 30 paise on Tuesday. In Delhi and Mumbai, the fuel was sold at Rs 76.87 and Rs 84.70 per litre repectively, up from Rs Rs 76.57 and Rs 84.40 on Monday.

Similarly in Kolkata, the price was at a near-five year high of Rs 79.53, up 29 paise from Monday.

In Chennai, the fuel cost rose by 32 paise from Monday’s price of Rs 79.47 per litre.

Prices of transportation fuel have been rising on the back of the recent surge in global crude oil prices and high excise duty in the country. On Tuesday, Brent crude oil was priced over $79 per barrel.

Diesel prices, which have already reached unprecedented levels, set new records across the country. In Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, diesel was sold at Rs 68.08, Rs 70.63, Rs 72.48 and Rs 71.87 per litre, respectively.

There have been demands from various quarters, including industry associations such as Ficci and Assocham, for a reduction in fuel excise duties and inclusion of automobile fuels under the purview of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

On Monday, India’s Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the government is considering ways to keep rising transport fuel prices in check.

Meanwhile, Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday criticised the Centre for the fuel price hike and claimed that the rate can be reduced by Rs 25 per litre but the government is not doing it.

“It is possible to cut upto Rs 25 per litre, but the government will not. They will cheat the people by cutting price by Re 1 or Rs 2 per litre of petrol,” he said over Twitter.