Price of non-branded petrol in Delhi soared to Rs 78.27 per litre today, the highest price recorded in Delhi's history, and a 15 paise per litre hike over Sunday's price.
The fuel price hike can no more be blamed on crude oil prices.
The lesser production of oil in the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and global crude oil prices, coupled with the weakness of rupee in the worldwide market are some of the reasons attributed for the hike in domestic fuel prices.
Brent crude oil price has slipped almost $5 a barrel in last two days after rising to almost $80 per barrel mark, its highest level since 2014 last week. Oil producers, who get paid global rates for the oil they produce from domestic fields, would have to part with any revenue they earn from prices crossing $70/bbl mark.
On Pradhan's suggestions to include petroleum products under GST, Behera said, "All the state governments will take a decision in regard to the proposal of including petroleum products under GST".
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Officials indicated that the windfall tax on oil producers was the most likely solution as the finance ministry was against cutting excise duties. Oil companies are estimated to have lost about Rs 500 crore because of the price freeze for three weeks, PTI reported.
The price Brent crude oil, however, has declined around $3 per barrel in the last two days, which raises hopes of easing fuel prices in the country.
In Delhi, petrol costs 77.47 rupees ($1.13) a litre and diesel sells at 68.53 rupees a litre. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government came to power in 2014, excise duty on petrol has been hiked by Rs 11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre. The government needs to provide relief to consumers, complaining not only of higher crude prices but also significantly higher taxes.
"We will certainly find a way out to deal with the situation", he said.