As the people of Karnataka voted for a new government on Saturday, the petrol and diesel prices started mounting up on Monday. After a sudden increase in international rates, the PSU oil firms hiked the petrol price by a 17 paise a litre and diesel by 21 paise. Despite input cost spiking, the Oil PSUs had kept the rates unchanged for nearly three weeks. Reports said that in Delhi, the petrol price was hiked to Rs 74.80 per litre from Rs 74.63 while diesel rates were increased to Rs 66.14 a litre from Rs 65.93.
The data has been released by the state-owned oil companies. According to report in a leading news agency, state-owned oil marketing companies are estimated to have lost about Rs 500 crore as they absorbed higher cost resulting from the spike in international oil rates and fall in rupee against the US dollar.
According to an analysis of daily price notification issued by oil companies, the Oil Companies have kept the pump rates static since April 24. The oil PSUs have refused that there was no order to freeze the costs in a bid to help ruling BJP in Karnataka elections.
Last time, petrol and diesel prices were revised on April 24. But after that, the prices were frozen despite benchmark international rate for petrol going up from USD 78.84 per barrel, which was the measure to raise the prices on April 24.
Reports said that in the last 19 days, the benchmark diesel rates during this period have climbed from $84.68 per barrel to $88.63. Last month, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan denied reports of a directive to state-owned oil firms to absorb at least Re 1 a litre hike by not raising prices in line with cost.
Attacking the ruling government BJP, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram took to his Twitter handle and wrote: “There we go again. More taxes on petrol and diesel, more burden on the consumer. The Karnataka election was only an interval”.