New Delhi: Petrol and diesel prices were cut for the fourth straight day Sunday on softening international oil prices, providing some relief to consumers battered by two months of relentless rate hikes. Petrol price was cut by 25 paise a litre and diesel by 17 paise, according to the price notification of state-owned oil firms. In Delhi, petrol now costs Rs 81.74 a litre and diesel is priced at Rs 75.19 per litre. In Mumbai, petrol is sold for Rs 87.21 per litre and diesel at Rs 78.82.
Fuel prices have been declining since Thursday as oil companies factored in softening of international rates. In four days, petrol price has been cut by Rs 1.09 per litre and diesel by 50 paise. State-run oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) revise fuel prices with effect from 0600 hrs on a daily basis.
The rates were reduced by a minimum Rs 2.50 per litre across the country on October 5, when the government cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 a litre and asked oil PSUs to subsidise the fuels by another Re 1 a litre. The reduction in BJP-ruled states was more as they matched this cut by an equivalent reduction in local sales tax or VAT.
The price cut follows international oil prices trading near the lowest level in a month on a bigger-than-expected gain in American stockpiles. On Friday, West Texas Intermediate for November delivery settled at USD 69.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent for December settlement was at USD 79.78 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Brent had earlier this month hit a four-year high of USD 86.74 a barrel.
Prior to Thursday’s cut in rates, diesel price had risen by Rs 2.74 per litre since October 5 to more than wipe away the excise duty cut and oil firm subsidy. Petrol price had during this period risen by Rs 1.33 a litre.
Before the October 5 price cut, petrol in Delhi had hit an all-time high of Rs 84 per litre and diesel was at record Rs 75.45. This came down to Rs 81.50 per litre for petrol and Rs 72.95 in case of diesel.
In Mumbai, petrol had hit a peak of Rs 91.34 hit on October 4 and diesel was sold at a record high of Rs 80.10.