NEW DELHI :
State-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) raised petrol and diesel prices on Tuesday after the results were declared for the assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry on Sunday.
This is for the first time since 23 February that the transportation fuel prices have been raised against the backdrop of the high-pitched state assembly elections. As a result, while petrol price increased by 15 paise per litre in Delhi, diesel price was raised by 18 paise per litre. Petrol and diesel were retailing at Rs90.55 per litre and Rs80.91 per litre respectively on Tuesday in Delhi at state run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd’s outlets.
The cost of the Indian basket of crude, which comprises Oman, Dubai and Brent crude, was at $65.71 a barrel on 3 May. Following the covid outbreak, crude prices for Indian basket of crude had plunged to $19.90 in April last year before recovering to $63.40 a barrel in April, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed.
Interestingly, the diesel and petrol retail prices in India have remain subdued during the elections, with three government-run OMC—Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL)—refraining from raising prices.
While Trinamool Congress swept the West Bengal assembly polls for the third time, in Tamil Nadu the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led alliance emerged as the winner. In Kerala, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) emerged victorious, with BJP returning to power in Assam, and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) winning the Puducherry assembly.
The state-run OMCs and the government have maintained that there is no correlation between elections and transportation fuel price freeze. The government’ stand has been that it has got no role in pricing since India’s three government-run oil marketing companies introduced dynamic fuel pricing, joining countries such as the US and Australia, where fuel prices change daily depending on global oil price fluctuations.