The price of gasoline and diesel rose again; the price of gasoline approaches Rs 99 in Mumbai


New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) On Sunday, the price of gasoline was increased by 24 paise a liter and diesel by 27 paise, pushing prices across the country to record highs and that of gasoline in Mumbai at almost Rs 99 per liter.

The increase led to higher tariffs in Delhi to Rs 92.58 per liter and diesel to Rs 83.22, according to a price notification from state-owned fuel retailers.

Rates had already crossed the 100 rupee mark in several cities in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and, with the latest increase, prices in Mumbai were also approaching that level.

A liter of gasoline in Mumbai now costs Rs 98.88 and diesel is priced at Rs 90.40 a liter.

Fuel prices vary from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges. Rajasthan levies the country’s highest value added tax (VAT) on gasoline, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

This is the ninth price increase since May 4, when state-owned oil companies ended an 18-hour hiatus of rate reviews they saw in assembly elections in states like the West Bengal.

Sri Ganganagar district in Rajasthan had the most expensive gasoline and diesel in the country at Rs 103.52 per liter and Rs 95.99 per liter, respectively.

In nine increases, the price of gasoline rose by Rs 2.19 per liter and diesel by Rs 2.49.

Since March of last year, when the government raised excise duties on fuel to a record high, the price of gasoline has risen by a record Rs 22.99 per liter (after recording a handful of lower rate opportunities) and diesel for Rs 20.93.

Oil companies, which have resorted in recent months to an unexplained rate revision freeze, had pressed a pause button after lowering prices slightly on April 15. It coincided with elections that peaked to elect new governments in five states, including West Bengal.

As soon as the vote was over, oil companies signaled an imminent increase in retail prices given the strengthening trend in international oil markets.

Central and state taxes account for 60 percent of the retail price of gasoline and over 54 percent of diesel. The union government levies 32.90 rupees per liter of excise duty on gasoline and 31.80 rupees on diesel. PTI ANZ MKJ

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