Sri Ganganagar, a small city in northernmost part of Rajasthan near the India-Pakistan border, is all set to get the dubious distinction of becoming the first in the country where retail prices of both auto fuels - petrol and diesel - will be hitting the century mark.
The city already has the distinction of having the highest pump price of petrol across the country at Rs 106.65 a litre. With diesel prices now increasing there by another 27 paise per litre on Wednesday to reach Rs 99.51 a litre, the city is just couple of raises away to hit a century mark for this fuel class as well.
Elsewhere in Rajasthan, especially towns near the border areas, diesel is expected to touch Rs 100 mark soon. So, will be the case in a few places in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, where by virtue of higher VAT rates, fuel prices are always much higher than rest of the country. Premium fuels are already above the Rs 100 mark in several cities for past few months.
What had brought fuel prices closer to Rs 100 per litre mark is consistent increase in retail prices by oil marketing companies for last five to six weeks. Even on Wednesday, OMCs raised the price of petrol and diesel by 25-30 paise per litre after pausing the increase on the previous day.
With the latest increase, the retail prices of petrol and diesel increased by 25 paise per litre to touch Rs 95.56 and Rs 86.47 per litre respectively in Delhi.
In the city of Mumbai, where petrol price crossed Rs 100 per litre mark for the first time ever on May 29, the fuel price reached new high of Rs 101.76 per litre on Wednesday. Diesel price also increased in the city to reach Rs 93.85 a litre, the highest among metros.
Across the country as well petrol and diesel prices increased between 23-27 paise per litre on Wednesday but its retail prices varied depending on the level of local taxes in different states.
With Wednesday's price hike, fuel prices have now increased on 21 days and remained unchanged on 19 days since May 1. The 21 increases have taken up petrol prices by Rs 5.16 per litre in Delhi. Similarly, diesel price has increased by Rs 5.75 per litre in the national capital.
With global crude prices also rising on a pick up demand and depleting inventories of world's largest fuel guzzler - the US, retail prices of fuel in India are expected to firm up further in coming days. The benchmark Brent crude is currently at $72.60 on ICE or Intercontinental Exchange.
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