Petrol price in Delhi breached Rs 79 per litre mark on Monday, hitting a fresh high. In Mumbai petrol touched Rs 86.56 per litre while diesel increased to Rs 75.54 per litre, after a hike of Rs 0.44 per litre.
In Kolkata, the price of petrol has been increased to ₹82.22 per litre while the diesel price has gone up to ₹74.19 per litre. On September 3, 2018, the price of petrol in the city was Rs. 86.65 per litre, beating the previous all-time high of Rs. 86.25.
The rise in fuel prices was blamed on "external factors" by the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who said the hike was temporary. 31 a litre, while diesel price has been increased to ₹71.34 a litre, which is also at a record high, according to the daily price notification issued by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
With imports becoming costlier because of a free fall in the rupee against the United States dollar, the government believes the current account deficit will overshoot the target and it can not "disturb fiscal maths by cutting excise duty on petrol and diesel", according to the official quoted above.
Since August 16, petrol prices have risen by over Rs 2 per litre. OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) had promised that it will raise production by one million barrels per day, which was not raised.
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Radebe said that the fuel price was driven by worldwide factors - such as the rand exchange rate, the global price of crude oil. "Apart from that, crises in countries like Venezuela and Iran are increasing".
"Rupee is falling because of the trade war and rising oil prices. This is further hurting Asian currencies", the official said.
This takes the worldwide price of crude oil and the value of the rand against the dollar into account. On top of this, states levy Value Added Tax (VAT) - the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where a 6 per cent sales tax is charged on both the fuel.
Chidambaram said the central government blaming the states is a "spurious argument".