Petrol price hits a record high in Mumbai

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According to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers, petrol price was on Tuesday hiked by 16 paise per litre and diesel by 19 paise.

In Mumbai, the petrol was being sold at Rs 86.56/litre, up by Rs 0.31/litre - the highest ever for any metro city.

The price differential between petrol and diesel in Mumbai has also reduced to one of the lowest of the year - at Rs 11.02 per litre, which means petrol cars seem to have as good an operational benefit as their diesel siblings.

Petrol price in Delhi rose to a record Rs 79.31 a litre and diesel climbed to an all-time high of Rs 71.34, renewing calls for a cut in excise duty to cushion the spike. Petrol price had previously hit its highest level five months ago on May 29.

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The rise in fuel prices was blamed on "external factors" by the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who said the hike was temporary. Monday's figures breached the previous highs recorded on May 28 this year when the petrol prices were at Rs 86.24 in Mumbai and Rs 78.43 in Delhi.

In its statement the department of energy said it was aware that the sustained price increases of the past few months had put consumers under pressure, and had chose to intervene temporarily for this month - but that it was a "once off temporary intervention" to provide some relief against fuel price hikes. "I would like to mention two points, and both these subjects are external". But the experts believe that the current price surge is different from before.

The price of diesel, paraffin and LP gas will remain unchanged.

Falling value of rupee against dollar, as well as escalated crude oil price has inflated India's import bill as it is the largest imported commodity into the country. "Apart from that, crises in countries like Venezuela and Iran are increasing". There is a pressure on oil prices due to decrease in production. "Secondly, global currencies have weakened against the U.S. dollar", he had said.

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