Fuel prices reach record highs, diesel prices highest in 56 weeks

Petrol prices are now just 1 cent a litre off an all time high at many stations across New Zealand

Basic economic principles have time and again proven that the consumer is the king of the market, however, a necessity that is as easily taxed as petrol or diesel should be subjected to moderate and regulated taxes in order to ensure that the working class is not burdened by it.

It's too much of a coincidence that the second such spell has been during an election. The price was last changed on April 24 when it was at Rs 74.63 per litre. Since 2012 union government has withdrawn all subsidies on fuel prices and the oil companies permitted to hike or reduce fuel prices on basis of the global price of crude. Polling in Karnataka ended on the evening of Saturday and Monday was the first working day after that. Prices of petrol at wholesale hubs have risen from $78.84/ barrel on May 23 to $82.98 and diesel from $84.68 to $88.63.

Petrol prices were hiked by 17 paise and diesel prices by 21 paise, applicable from 6:00 a.m. on 14th May 2018.

"If another couple of pence a litre goes on as a result of the higher oil price and the fact the pound is at a four-month low could take the average cost of a litre of unleaded to 126.5p - a price last seen in October 2014 - which would make filling up a 55-litre family auto cost almost £70".

However, OMCs kept price revision on hold, apparently on the petroleum ministry's diktat, absorbing under-recoveries on sales of petrol and diesel on their own balance sheets to save the ruling party from embarrassment. Last month, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan denied reports of a directive to state-owned oil firms to absorb at least Re 1 a litre hike by not raising prices in line with cost. With this, the price of fuel was changed to 2-3 rupees every 15 days. Now incidentally it coincided with some of the state elections. But what he didn't tell was that why they have higher prices.

Diesel price in Chennai: Like Mumbai, similar hike was also made in Chennai. The crude oil prices fell on Monday as the United States has increased its drilling activity to increase output.

The BJP-led government had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October past year by Rs 2 a litre.

Petrol price in Kochi rose to Rs 77. The retailers had last raised petrol and diesel prices on April 24 by 13 and 18 paise, respectively, in Delhi when the Indian basket - mix of crude bought by Indian refiners - averaged $69/barrel.

With the resumption of dynamic pricing system for transport fuels on Monday by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), petrol prices in the national capital shot up to Rs 74.80 per litre. These increase in fuel prices has given rise to renewed calls to the Government of India to cut excise tax rates.

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