Nearing polls, softening crude keep Oilcos from hiking prices

New Delhi (IANS) Fuel prices in the country have remained steady for over a fortnight now as softening crude and upcoming elections in several states later this month has kept Oil companies 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 Thursday. Fuel prices have not been revised now for 19 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 taxes on petroleum products to see if relief can be provided to 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 is now sitting a tab lower around $68.5 a barrel.

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 elections in various states. The crude is expected to move up further on demand, rise and continue production cut by OPEC+ in April.

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