Petrol near five-year high in Delhi, opposition slams it as 'poll

Fuel prices revised petrol diesel to cost more

Petrol and diesel prices were hiked after 19-days on Monday, as PSU oil firms began passing on the hike to consumers in line with the rise in worldwide rates.

Karnataka voted on Saturday for a new assembly and the results will be announced on Tuesday.

However, the daily revision of petrol and diesel prices was seemingly put on hold beginning April 24 this year - around 20 days before the high-stakes Karnataka election, where the Congress is hoping to retain its southern bastion and where the Bharatiya Janata Party is looking to win a major advantage ahead of next year's Lok Sabha election. This was despite benchmark global rates for petrol going up from $78.84 per barrel, which was used for raising the price to Rs 74.63 a litre on April 24, to $82.98 now, sources said.

State-owned fuel retailers issued a notification earlier in 2017 stating that come May 1, 2017, a pilot policy would be initiated according to which, petrol and diesel prices will change every day in sync with global rates, much like what happens in most advanced markets.

The energy regulator has signalled more pain at the pump as it announced that petrol, mostly consumed by private cars, is up by Sh0.34 a litre to Sh107.17 in Nairobi in its latest review.

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India's petrol, diesel prices are among Southeast Asia's highest due to high taxes, which make up for almost 40-45% of the final retail price. Diesel prices are: 66.14 (Delhi), 66.68 (Kolkata), 70.43 (Mumbai) and 69.79 (Chennai).

Between April 25 and May 14, the cost and freight of petrol and diesel has increased by $4.15 and $3.94 per barrel, respectively, according to the price build-up at BPCL's Delhi filling station, Economic Times reported on Monday.

However, state-run oil firms refused to acknowledge if the brief freeze on fuel price hikes followed a central government diktat, so as to help the BJP in Karnataka, reported the news agency. It has increased by 23 paise per litre when compared to Sunday's prices.

After the revision, petrol is sold at ₹74.80 a litre, while diesel is sold at ₹66.14 a litre in Delhi. The idea of daily revision was to link it with continuous change in global crude oil price, however, that is now not on the table as the price has soared to over $76 per barrel mark which is highest since 2014 and no intervention from OMCs has been forthcoming.

All state-owned oil companies - Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation - in June 2017 adopted a policy to revise fuel prices on a daily basis to better reflect changes in cost. Petrol would cost ₹77.81 a litre and power petrol ₹80.77 a litre, said dealers.

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