Responding to the charges of government meddling in
fixing of fuel prices, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh said Petrol and diesel prices in India are
to a "large extent" aligned to international rates.
The prices are revised daily based on 15-day rolling average rate of their
international benchmark, he said. "To a large extent, our prices are
aligned to international product prices," he said.
He was responding to questions on government interfering with rates of
deregulated fuels at a press briefing called to discuss the company's third
quarter earnings. Prices in international markets have been fluctuating and are
being reflected in domestic rates, he said.. "Domestic prices of
petrol and diesel are revised based on changes in the benchmark international
product prices. Many a times, crude oil prices rises but there is hardly any
change in product prices, which form the basis fixing domestic rates," he
added.It was alleged in some quarters that the government informally directed
state-owned fuel retailers not to raise petrol and diesel prices in the run up
to the December 2017 elections in Gujarat.
By some accounts, as much as 45 paisa increase warranted in petrol and diesel
rates was not passed on.
State-owned oil companies in June last year dumped the 15-year old practice of
revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month and instead adopted a dynamic
daily price revision to instantly reflect changes in cost.
Petrol prices today hit the highest level since the BJP government came to
power in 2014, and diesel touched a record high of Rs 64 a litre.
Petrol price rose to Rs 72.92 per litre in Delhi, highest since March 2014,
according to daily fuel price list of state-owned oil firms.
Rates have risen by Rs 3.85 per litre since mid-December. In Mumbai, prices
have nearing Rs 81-mark - costliest in the country.
Diesel is being sold at Rs 68.15 in Mumbai, where the local sales tax or VAT
rates are higher.
Since mid-December, diesel rates have jumped Rs 5.66 a litre, according to oil