Petrol and diesel prices on April 30 saw a hike of one paisa and 44 paisa per litre respectively, and will undergo daily revision effective in five select cities, in sync with international rates. State-owned fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), which own more than 95 per cent of the nearly 58,000 petrol pumps in the country, will launch a pilot for daily price revision in five select cities from Monday and gradually extend it to other parts of the country.
The pilot will first be launched in Puducherry, Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and Chandigarh, IOC said in a statement. Fuel rates are currently revised by State fuel retailers on the 1st and 16th of every month based on average international price of fuel in the preceding fortnight and currency exchange rate.
However, pump rates will now reflect daily movement in international oil prices and rupee- US dollar fluctuations. IOC said petrol in Udaipur costs Rs 70.57 a litre and diesel Rs 61.23, while in Jamshedpur petrol costs Rs 69.33 a litre and diesel Rs 60.26.
Chandigarh charges Rs 67.65 for a litre of petrol while diesel is priced at Rs 57.74. In Vizag, petrol costs Rs 72.68 a litre and diesel Rs 62.81. Puducherry prices petrol at Rs 66.02 per litre and diesel at Rs 58.68 a litre. IOC added that customers could verify fuel prices by downloading the company app or through the website.
A daily revision of prices will remove hurdles that effect rates at the end of a fortnight while making the consumer more aligned to market dynamics. The three State retailers have only a few paise difference between their rates. While the government lost control of petrol prices in June 2010, diesel rates were deregulated in October 2014.
While oil companies technically have the freedom to revise rates, they are often guided by political considerations. With daily changes, which are unlikely to be more than a few paise per litre, political pressures for not revising rates particularly when they are to be hiked will go, industry sources said.