Petrol, diesel prices hiked

Rising fuel prices are forcing drivers off the road

State-run oil companies on Tuesday hiked petrol and diesel prices for the second straight day after a 19-day hiatus ahead of the assembly elections.

South African motorists are now facing increases of 74 cents per litre for oil, 81 cents per litre for diesel, and 78 cents for paraffin. The companies need to catch up on market prices as 19-day price freeze has created a wider gap.

Meanwhile, Diesel will now cost Rs 66.57 in New Delhi, Rs 69.11 in Kolkata, Rs 70.88 in Mumbai and Rs 70.25 in Chennai. Diesel prices were increased by 21 paise in Delhi and Kolkata and by 22 paise and 23 paise in Mumbai and Chennai respectively.

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The Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted on Monday that the recent "interval" has coincided with Karnataka elections.

The rise in worldwide oil prices will hit a sore spot for South African motorists as yet another substantial fuel price hike is on the cards for the end of May. After a relief of 19 days, fuel prices have again started moving up in line with global crude oil prices, as oil marketing companies have made a decision to pass on the burden to consumers after a freeze of 19 days, which started from April 24. An analysis of historical fuel price changes by Indian Oil (IOC) shows the company had kept the prices static between 16 January 2017 and 1 April 2017, when the company followed fortnightly revision of fuel prices. "As the crude oil prices were constantly moving up, its impact on diesel and petrol prices should have been reflected in the country". Today, diesel prices were increased in the range of 21 paisa to 23 paisa per litre. In Kolkata, the prices were increased by 14 paise per litre and 16 paise per litre in Chennai, according to Indian Oil Corporation website. Diesel, on the other hand, has already retailing at its highest-ever price in India. He also added the freeze in fuel prices by all the three OMCs was not synchronized nor was it an attempt at cartelization and explained that OMCs do have discretionary powers when it comes to pricing of fuels.

The price of fuel is expected to skyrocket past R15 per litre. The centre had cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre in October last year for the first time in four years.

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