Prices of petrol and diesel hiked for the eleventh consecutive day on Wednesday as part of the daily revision by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). With effect from 6 AM, the prices of petrol were increased by 55 paise per litre and diesel by 60 paise per litre in Delhi, compared to the previous day.
On Tuesday, the petrol price was hiked by 47 paise per litre, while diesel rates had gone up by 57 paise. The rates are expected to climb further as OMCs look to recover revenue lost during the lockdown.
The recent hike in fuel prices has been criticized by the opposition parties, who say the sharp rise in fuel price will increase problems in the lives of people who are already facing higher economic stress due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Urging to roll back the continuing fuel price hikes, opposition leader Sonia Gandhi also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister saying, “If you want people to be self-reliant then do not place financial fetters on their ability to move forward….I am deeply distressed that in these exceedingly difficult times since the beginning of March, the government has taken the wholly insensitive decision to increase petrol and diesel prices on no less than ten separate occasions.”
On Sunday, petrol price was hiked by a record 62 paise per litre and that of diesel by 64 paise.
The freeze in rates was imposed in mid-March soon after the government hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel to shore up additional finances.
Oil PSUs Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), instead of passing on the excise duty hikes to customers, adjusted them against the fall in the retail rates that was warranted because of international oil prices falling to two-decade lows.