Fuel price hike: Congress announces nationwide protest on June 11
As prices of petrol and diesel continue to witness a hike across India, the Indian National Congress announced it will hold a nationwide protest on June 11 to condemn the rising fuel prices. The party workers would assemble at petrol pumps to stage symbolic demonstrations across the country. They will also protest the rising inflation, as part of its nationwide agitation. Here's more.
The epicenter of Congress's nationwide protests would be Rajasthan where petrol breached the Rs. 100/liter-mark back in February. The party's announcement comes as petrol is being retailed at over Rs. 100/liter in several cities, including Mumbai. Diesel rates also hit record-high levels—inching closer to the Rs. 100-mark for the first time in India—as it is being sold at Rs. 99.50/liter in Rajasthan's Sri Ganganagar.
"Due to wrong policies of the Centre, inflation has become uncontrollable in the country and the prices of all essential commodities, including petrol, diesel, and cooking gas, are increasing at an unprecedented rate," said Govind Singh Dotasra, the President of Congress in Rajasthan.
Dotasra further claimed that when the crude oil price in global markets was $108/barrel in April 2014, the petrol and diesel rates in India were Rs. 71 and Rs. 57 per liter, respectively. However, in June 2021, when the price of crude oil in international markets is $61/barrel, the prices of petrol and diesel are at an all-time high in the country, he claimed.
On Wednesday, petrol and diesel rates were hiked by 25 paise/liter each—the 22nd fuel price hike since May 4 when state-run oil companies resumed domestic fuel rate revisions after an 18-day hiatus in view of the Assembly elections in several states. Petrol is being retailed at above Rs. 100/liter in six states and union territories: Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Ladakh.
On Wednesday, petrol retailed at Rs. 95.56/liter in Delhi, Rs. 101.76/liter in Mumbai, Rs. 96.94/liter in Chennai, Rs. 95.52/liter in Kolkata, and Rs. 98.75/liter in Bengaluru. Diesel stood at Rs. 86.47/liter in Delhi, Rs. 93.85/liter in Mumbai, Rs. 91.15/liter in Chennai, Rs. 89.32/liter in Kolkata, and Rs. 91.67/liter in Bengaluru. Meanwhile, the petrol price rose to Rs. 106.64/liter in Sri Ganganagar—the highest in India.
In India, state-owned oil marketing companies such as IOCL, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) adjust the domestic fuel prices as per the global crude oil rates by also considering the changes in foreign exchange rates. The revisions in domestic fuel rates come into effect from 6:00 am every day.
Moreover, fuel rates in the country vary from state to state as they depend on the incidence of local taxes like the value-added tax (VAT) and freight charges. Notably, Rajasthan levies the highest VAT on petrol in India followed by Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.