Centre to act on petrol, diesel price hike: Minister

Since July 1 petrol price in Delhi has risen by Rs 7.29 per litre to Rs 70.38 per litre on 13 September 2017

A taxi driver in Mumbai said that the petrol price is rising day by day. The price in Mumbai rose to Rs 79.48 a litre on September 12 from Rs 76.70 a litre.

Mumbai: Amidst petrol and diesel prices hitting a three-year high, Petroleum Minister Dharmenda Pradhan on Wednesday defended the daily price revision mechanism calling it rational and transparent and said it can not be changed on a knee-jerk basis.

Similarly, petrol per litre cost Rs 70.38 in Delhi, Rs 73.12 in Kolkata and Rs 72.95 in Chennai while diesel price was Rs 58.72 in Delhi, Rs 61.37 in Kolkata, Rs 62.37 in Mumbai and Rs 61.84 in Chennai.

The Congress on Wednesday slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in the wake of hike in fuel prices and urged the Centre to pass on the benefit of 50% reduction in global prices of crude oil to the common person.

At present, petroleum products have been put outside the Goods and Services Tax Bill ambit.

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The Indian basket, comprising 73 percent sour-grade Dubai and Oman crudes, and the balance in sweet-grade Brent, closed trade on the weekend on Friday at $53.63 per barrel, according to the Petroleum Ministry. The oil basket had gained over a dollar at the start of last week on Monday to close at $51.34 for a barrel of 159 litres.

He added that the price fluctuation happens due to the variation in worldwide crude oil price, and there is complete transparency in fixing the price of petrol and diesel.

"But the petrol prices are increasing day by day". Rates during the first fortnight dropped but have since July 3 been on the rise. "Thereafter, it has increased mainly because of rise in global oil prices", he said.

The government can not change fuel prices on a knee-jerk basis, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday on a day when stocks of state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) tanked by as much as eight per cent following recent hikes in transport fuel prices.

The news reports brought back the ghosts of the era of regulation, when petrol and diesel price movements were much hyped events with the government dictating how much the oil refining and marketing companies could charge.

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