Petrol and diesel prices on Monday hit record highs across the country after rates were increased for the fifth time in a week, following which Maharashtra joined Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in the league of states where petrol rates breached the Rs 100-a-litre mark.
Petrol price was hiked by 26 paise a litre and diesel by 33 paise per litre, according to a price notification by state-owned fuel retailers.
This was the fifth increase in prices since May 4, when the state-owned oil firms ended an 18-hiatus in rate revision during assembly elections in states like West Bengal.
The increase took petrol and diesel prices to their highest-ever level. In Delhi, petrol now comes for Rs 91.53 per litre and diesel is priced at Rs 82.06 per litre.
While petrol prices had crossed the Rs 100-mark in some places in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh a few days back, Maharashtra's Parbhani joined the league on Monday. Petrol in Parbhani was priced at Rs 100.20 a litre, while in Bhopal it came for Rs 99.55 a litre.
The fuel is sold at Rs 102.42 a litre in Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan and at Rs 102.12 in Anuppur of Madhya Pradesh.
This is the second time this year that rates in some parts have crossed the Rs 100-a litre mark. Rates had breached the physiological mark for the first time in mid-February.
Fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges. Rajasthan levies the highest value-added tax (VAT) on petrol in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh.
In five increases in the last one week, petrol price has risen by Rs 1.14 per litre and diesel by Rs 1.33 - more than neutralising all of the reduction that came between March 24 and April 15.
After raising petrol price by a record Rs 21.58 per litre and diesel by Rs 19.18 since the government raised excise duty to an all-time high in March last year, state-owned fuel retailers, IOC, BPCL and HPCL had reduced petrol price by 67 paise a litre and diesel by 74 paise per litre effected between March 24 and April 15.
Oil companies, who have in recent months resorted to unexplained freeze in rate revision, had hit a pause button after cutting prices marginally on April 15. This coincided with electioneering hitting peak to elect new governments in five states including West Bengal.
No sooner had voting ended, oil companies indicated an impending increase in retail prices in view of firming trends in international oil markets.
They said prices have been on a continuous uptrend since April 27, crude oil price is hovering near USD 70-per-barrel mark.
Central and state taxes make up for 60 per cent of the retail selling price of petrol and over 54 per cent of diesel. The union government levies Rs 32.90 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 31.80 on diesel.
In Mumbai, the petrol price was hiked to Rs 97.86 a litre on Monday from Rs 97.61, while diesel rates were increased to Rs 89.17 from Rs 88.82, the price notification showed.