New Delhi: Cooking gas LPG price on Wednesday was hiked by Rs 15 per cylinder while petrol and diesel rates saw their steepest increase in recent weeks, pushing prices to all-time high levels across the country.
Rates of both subsidised and non-subsidised LPG were hiked, taking the total increase in rates since July to Rs 90 per 14.2-kg cylinder.
Cooking gas now costs Rs 899.50 per cylinder in Delhi and Mumbai, and Rs 926 in Kolkata, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
The government has through periodic increases eliminated subsidies on LPG in most cities. Domestic household kitchens, who are entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rates in a year, and Ujjwala beneficiaries, who got free connections, now pay the market price.
A 5-kg LPG cylinder now costs Rs 502.
This is the fourth increase in LPG prices since July. Rates were increased by Rs 25.50 per cylinder in July, followed by Rs 25 hike each on August 17 and September 1.
Alongside, petrol price was increased by 30 paise per litre and diesel by 35 paise a litre.
This is the steepest daily increase in recent weeks and follows international oil prices touching a seven-year high.
The petrol price in Delhi rose to its highest-ever level of Rs 102.94 a litre and to Rs 108.96 in Mumbai, the notification showed.
Diesel rates too touched a record high of Rs 91.42 in Delhi and Rs 99.17 per litre in Mumbai.
Prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes.
State-owned fuel retailers have in the past few days resorted to modest increases to align domestic rates with cost. But with international benchmark Brent crude soaring to USD 82.92 per barrel after the decision by OPEC+ not to increase output more than 0.4 million barrels per day, fuel rates are being increased by a larger proportion.
Sources said oil companies had kept increases to a modest level in anticipation of correction in crude oil and petroleum product prices in the international market.
“Oil marketing companies have only made a moderate increase in retail prices of petrol and diesel so far,” a source said. “However, in the event of such a correction not being there, the price increase could be substantial.”
The seventh increase in fuel rates since the ending of a nearly three-week hiatus has sent petrol prices above Rs 100 a litre in most major cities of the country.
Similarly, the 10th increase in prices has shot up diesel rates above Rs 100 mark in several cities in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
International oil prices rallied to their highest level since 2014, following a decision by OPEC+ to maintain its planned gradual increase of supply, despite the market facing an energy crunch.
Global benchmark Brent jumped to USD 82.92 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate rose to USD 79.25 a barrel.
Being a net importer of oil, India prices petrol and diesel at rates equivalent to international prices.
A month back Brent was around USD 72 per barrel.
The price of LPG sold by Saudi Arabia has gone up steeply, from USD 483 a tonne in May, to USD 797 in October.
With international crude oil prices moving in both directions during July and August, no price increase was carried out by oil marketing companies (OMCs) from July 18 to September 23. Instead, petrol price was cut by Rs 0.65 a litre and diesel by Rs 1.25.
However, with no respite from surging international prices, OMCs have started to increase the retail selling price of petrol and diesel with effect from September 28 and September 24, respectively.
Since then, diesel rates have gone up by Rs 2.80 paise per litre and petrol price has increased by Rs 1.75.
Prior to the July/August price cuts, the petrol price was increased by Rs 11.44 a litre between May 4 and July 17. Diesel rate had gone up by Rs 9.14 during this period.
The relentless increase in fuel prices has been criticised by opposition parties who have demanded that the government cut record excise duty on the two fuels to give relief to consumers.
The government has so far not agreed to the demand.
Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday refused to even comment on the high fuel prices.
Asked about the fuel prices at his ministry’s event in the national capital on Saturday, Puri said, “chhodo (leave it)” before walking away.