After Delhi and Kolkata, petrol now costs Rs 100 in all metros

NEW DELHI: Regular petrol now costs Rs 100-plus per litre in all four metros, with Delhi and Kolkata joining the league of centurions on Wednesday as high taxes continued to amp up the impact of rising oil prices in the international market.
Petrol price in the national capital and Kolkata crossed Rs 100 after retailers raised prices for the 36th time since May 4. On May 29, the country’s financial capital Mumbai was the first to earn the dubious distinction of becoming the first metro to see petrol selling for Rs 100 a litre.
Chennai was next to see the fuel hit a century on July 2. Petrol sold for Rs 100 for the first time in the country in Rajasthan’s Sri Ganganagar district on February 17.
After the latest price revision, petrol price now tops Rs 100 in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar, Punjab, Ladakh, Sikkim and Pondicherry.
TOI had on February 25 ( first reported that Rs 100 could be the new normal for petrol.
Diesel price has also risen above Rs 90 a litre in most parts of the country and crossed Rs 100 in parts of Rajasthan, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
The record prices are being attributed to the rally in oil prices since January as crude is a factor in the pricing of fuels. The rally has jacked up India’s crude purchase cost from $55 a barrel in January to $77 in the current week.
As a result, the ‘base price’, or the price refiners charge dealers, of petrol in Delhi – the reference market with moderate fuel tax – has increased from Rs 28.50 a litre in the second fortnight of January to Rs 39.29 currently. The base price of diesel has risen from Rs 29.53 a litre to Rs 41.74 during this period.
The consumer price of petrol has, however, jumped from Rs 84.70 a litre on January 16 to Rs 100.21 and diesel from Rs 74.88 per litre to Rs 89.18 during the period.
This is because taxes levied by the Centre and the states dictate the final retail price, even though the base rates of petrol and diesel are set according to their international quotes and the rupee-dollar exchange rate. Consumers in states with higher taxes end up paying more on the same base price.
The Centre raised excise duty by Rs 13 on petrol and Rs 16 on diesel when oil prices collapsed between March-end and May due to the pandemic. This pushed up excise duty on petrol from Rs 19.98 a litre to Rs 32.98 and from Rs 15.83 to Rs 31.83. States, including Delhi, also jacked up VAT.
It is clear then that these taxes are as much to blame for the record pump prices as crude’s rally. The two taxes now account for 55% of the retail price of petrol in Delhi and 50% of the consumer price of diesel.

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