After remaining unchanged for two days, petrol and diesel prices were hiked by 35 paise per litre each on Tuesday, taking the fuel prices to a new record high.
Petrol price edged past Rs 86 a litre mark in Delhi and diesel soared above Rs 76 after witnessing maximum increase in the last one year.
Petrol is now being sold at Rs 86.05 per litre in Delhi and Rs 92.62 in Mumbai. After the hike, diesel rate climbed up to Rs 76.23 a litre in the national capital and to Rs 83.03 per litre in Mumbai.
The varying fule rate in the states is due to different VAT on petrol and diesel as petroleam products are not covered by the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Rates had gone up by Re 1 per litre each last week before hitting a two-day pause.
Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan last week blamed Saudi oil output cut for the surge in oil prices but remained non-committal on tax cuts.
Top oil explorer Saudi Arabia has pledged additional voluntary output cuts of 1 million barrels per day in February and March, which has led to price climbing to most since the pandemic broke out.
State-owned fuel retailers -- Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) -- had on January 6, resumed daily price revision after nearly a month-long hiatus.
Since then, rates have gone up by Rs 2.34 a litre on petrol and Rs 2.36 in case of diesel.
This comes after international oil prices firmed up in hopes of demand returning from the rollout of coronavirus vaccines in different countries, including India.
Prior to the current high crude prices triggered the price hikes this month, fuel prices had last touched record high on October 4, 2018. At that time the government had cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre in a bid to ease inflationary pressure and boost consumer confidence. Alongside, state-owned fuel retailers cut prices by another Re 1 a litre, which they recouped later.
This time, there are no indications of a duty cut so far.
Petrol and diesel prices are revised on a daily basis in line with benchmark international price and foreign exchange rates.
(With PTI inputs)