New Delhi: State-owned oil companies on Saturday raised petrol prices by Rs 2.50-Rs 2.54 per litre, the second hike in a month, on back of rising crude oil prices.
Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest fuel retailer, has raised petrol prices by Rs 2.50 per litre with effect from midnight, while Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) has hiked rates by Rs 2.54 a litre.
Bharat Petroleum Corp, the third state fuel retailer, raised the price by Rs 2.53 per litre with effect from midnight.
The three firms from on December 15-16 raised petrol prices by Rs 2.94-2.96 per litre, the biggest hike in six months.
Petrol at IOC outlets in Delhi which cost 55.87 per litre on Saturday, is now priced at Rs 58.37 a litre.
The fuel at HPCL and BPCL pumps would be sold at Rs 58.39 per litre.
The official said the increase follows international crude oil prices climbing to USD 92 per barrel.
The state-run retailers are deliberately adopting marginally different rates to avoid being accused of acting as a cartel in the free market.
Not surprisingly, the CPM and the BJP have slammed the price hike, and demanded a roll back.
"This cruel price rise of petrol, the second big price rise in a span of a month, is totally unjustified. We demand an immediate rollback of prices of petrol products," said Prakash Javadekar, Spokesperson, BJP.
The CPI(M) described called the Centre's decision to raise petrol prices "callous" and called upon its various units to launch immediate protest against the hike.
"The Politburo calls upon all its party units to immediately protest the callous hike," CPI(M)'s highest policy-making body, on a two-day meeting here, said in a statement.
The government had freed petrol prices in June this year, but the state firms, which control 98 per cent of the retail market, continue to informally consult the oil ministry before revising prices.
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Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) rates in Delhi have been hiked by Rs 948.5 per kilolitre, or 1.98 per cent, to Rs 48,764 per kl with effect from midnight tonight, an official of Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation's largest fuel retailer, said.