New Delhi: In what came as a big shocker for the common man, the petrol prices were on Wednesday underwent the steepest ever increase of Rs 7.50 per litre, which would be effective from midnight.
The increase was on the cards with the rupee continuing its free fall against the US dollar. The rupee fell to a record life low of 56 per dollar on Wednesday.
The move evoked sharp reactions from opposition parties as well as key UPA ally Mamata Banerjee. While the BJP and the Left accused the government of cheating people, the Trinamool Congress chief termed the situation as economic mismanagement.
While the BJP and the Left accused the government of cheating people, Mamata termed the situation as economic mismanagement.
State-owned oil companies decided to raise petrol price by Rs 6.28 per litre excluding local sales tax or VAT. The hike translates into Rs 7.50 per litre in Delhi and is the steepest ever. Petrol in Delhi currently costs Rs 65.64 a litre and after the increase it will be priced at Rs 73.14 per litre.
Oil companies had already told the government that wanted to hike petrol price by at least Rs 4 per litre.
Earlier on Tuesday, Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy had said that there was an immediate need to raise fuel prices, but refused to say when the hike would actually take place.
The government had decontrolled petrol price in June 2010 but rates were last increased on November 4 last year. This despite oil price rising by 14 per cent and 7 per cent fall in value of rupee against the US dollar.
Price of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas were raised in June 2011.
State-owned oil firms, who had in the fiscal ending March 31, 2012 lost Rs 4,860 crore on petrol sales, are currently losing Rs 6.28 per litre on petrol.
Here are the rates of petrol in four major metros after the hike:
Petrol in Delhi currently costs Rs 65.64 a litre and after the increase it will be priced at Rs 73.14 per litre.
In Mumbai, the petrol now costs Rs 70.66 but after midnight it will go up to rs 78.16.
Kolkata too faces the pressure with the petrol now costing Rs 77.53 from Rs 70.03.
Similarly, the cost of petrol in Chennai will see a steep hike of Rs 7.50 to 77.05 from Rs 69.55.Interactive graph: Fuel price hike 1989 to 2012 (Delhi)