From a gap of Rs 30 a litre to costing more than petrol: How diesel price has surged

The price of diesel rose for 18th day in a row on Wednesday. With the current increase, diesel will now cost Rs 79.88 per litre in Delhi, while petrol price remained unchanged at Rs 79.76 a litre. This is the first time that diesel costs more than petrol in Delhi.

The two fuels have seen a hike of Rs 10.49 per litre in the last 18 days.

In January 2018, diesel retailed at Rs 61.74 a litre in Delhi. In about a year and a half, the price has gone up by mroe than Rs 18 per litre.

In 2011, the difference was Rs 30 per litre.

In June 2017, state-run fuel retailers Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum switched to daily price revision from a fortnightly pricing system. And since the dynamic fuel pricing system began, the gap between the prices of the two fuels has been narrowing.

Higher levies imposed by the Centre and various state governments also contribute to the higher retail price of diesel.

The increase in fuel rates started on June 7 this year as oil companies resumed daily revision in prices in line with costs after ending an 82-day gap during the Covid-19 lockdown. It has taken diesel prices to fresh highs and petrol price too is at a two-year high.

People aware of the development said the fuel prices may soon cross the Rs 80 per litre mark soon as international oil prices continue to surge.

The government has been facing Opposition’s ire over the daily increase in fuel prices. The Congress said on Tuesday that it will launch a ‘Jan Andolan’ (people’s movement) across the country soon against the hike.

Discussing the issue at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the party condemned the hike in petrol and diesel prices and reminded the government of its “Raj Dharma”.

The Trinamool Congress also slammed the Modi government at the Centre, saying it is “disgraceful to unleash a planned disaster” on the common people at a time when the country is in the throes of a pandemic.