Diesel, however, has become dearer faster than petrol, which has reduced the gap between petrol and diesel prices to about Rs 9, an unusual occurrence if one analyses the price difference in the last one-and-a-half decades. Where Brent crude has reversed gains and is now trading near $74 per barrel from their four-year highs of $80 per barrel, the state-owned OMCs have continued to hike petrol prices to record level for 15th consecutive day.
In the last few days, fuel prices have touched record highs, with petrol costing Rs 76.87 per litre in Delhi and diesel Rs 68.08 a litre.
In Chennai, petrol price was at Rs 81.26 per litre while diesel went up to Rs 73.03 per litre.
In 2017, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation had chose to limit their production to stabilize the rates and market, when oil prices hit as low as $30 per barrel in 2016.
The incessant hike in petrol and diesel prices has been mostly due to rise in crude oil prices and the high taxes - excise duty and VAT - levied on fuels.
Brent crude futures, the global benchmark for oil prices, traded at $74.76 a barrel on the ICE.
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As per the pricing mechanism, the domestic petrol prices are dependent upon the worldwide fuel price on a 15-day average.
These prices are effective from 6 am on Monday.
Though political parties blame each other for this situation, the common man is ending up paying higher prices because of a progressive increase in taxes. On Sunday, it was sold at Rs 80.76 a litre.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik also demanded that the centre should reduce the tax on the petroleum products. After the NDA government has come to power tax on petroleum products has become regular source of government income. During the day, it tanked 11.44 per cent to Rs 155.45.
Understandably, the petroleum price hike is not an issue only for the vehicle owners but it is also equally important issue for the entire citizenry.
The government derives this idea from the basic principle that if upstream oil companies like ONGC and Oil India gain from hike in crude prices, then it is they who should pay the cess for the inconvenience caused by this hike.