New Delhi: Fuel prices continued to rise across the country for the 12th straight day on Saturday. Petrol prices on Saturday touched an all-time high of Rs 97 per litre in Mumbai while diesel crossed Rs 88-mark.
Petrol price was hiked by 39 paise per litre and diesel by 37 paise a litre, according to the state-owned oil marketing companies.
The increase pushed the petrol prices in Delhi and Mumbai to Rs 90.58 and Rs 97 per litre respectively.
Diesel was sold at Rs 80.97 a litre in the national capital and Rs 88.06 in Mumbai on Saturday.
The increase follows a spurt in oil prices in the international market, on which India is dependent to meet its 85 per cent of the needs. Brent oil crossed USD 65 a barrel this week as a worsening US energy crisis took out almost 40 per cent of the nation's crude production.
In 12 days, retail petrol prices have risen by Rs 3.63 a litre, a record since the pricing was deregulated in 2010, and diesel rates have gone up by Rs 3.84.
Petrol price has already surged past the Rs 100-mark in some places in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which levy the highest VAT on the fuel.
Retail pump prices differ from state to state depending on the local taxes (VAT) and freight.
FM shifts blame on states for high fuel prices:
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday batted for cut in the petrol prices, putting the blame on the states for the high petrol prices because of the taxes they levy.
“Yes, the Centre can also help by cutting down the Central Excise Duty,” she told reporters here in reply to a question, but said the Centre has no control over the prices of petrol and diesel fixed by the oil marketing companies.
She described the continuous hike in the petrol and diesel prices as a "dharma sankat," saying the Centre and states need to figure out a way so that the end price to the consumer or the retail price of fuel is at a reasonable level.
Sitharaman said: "It is a vexed issue. Whatever I may say will sound like I am avoiding the answer or shifting the blame. Fuel price rise is an issue in which no answer except for reducing the price would convince anyone."