Fossil fuel prices have been hiked again. With the latest price increase, motorists in Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, will pay Rs 93.20 a litre for petrol and Rs 83.67 a litre for diesel. Check out the data table below and you can see how much more motorists in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata are paying more for the two fuels in a span of 28 days.
UPDATE: February 5
Given that the price of petrol in Mumbai was Rs 75.28 a litre on April 1, 2020, it means the cost of this fuel has risen by Rs 17.92 a litre in 10 months – a 24% price increase. For diesel, the price rise is even steeper – from Rs 65.19 a litre on April 1, 2020 to today’s Rs 83.67 in Mumbai, the price increase is Rs 18.48 – a 28% price increase.
The price differential between the two fuels, which was Rs 10.09 a litre at the start of the fiscal year FY2021 on April 1, 2020, is today down to Rs 9.53 a litre, indicating the speedier price rise in the ‘common man’s fuel’ – diesel.
Sky-high fuel prices hitting Indian motorists
These wallet-busting fuel prices are hitting the Indian motorist – on two-, four and more wheels – very hard. For instance, the owner of a fuel-sipping commuter motorcycle like the Hero Splendor, which has a 11-litre tank, would have paid Rs 828 to tank up on April 1,2020 in Mumbai. Today, he pays Rs 1,025.20 – which is Rs 197.20 more – to go the same distance.
When it comes to cars, a Mumbai-based owner of a Maruti Wagon which has a 35-litre fuel tank, will today pay Rs 3,262 to tank up compared to Rs 2,634 on April 1, 2020 – a sizeable difference of Rs 628. Meanwhile, to tank up his/her Hyundai Creta, which has a 50-litre fuel tank, the user will have to fork out Rs 4,183.50 today in Mumbai, compared to Rs 3,259.50 ten months ago on April 1, 2020 – a marked difference of Rs 924.
In the case of commercial vehicles, which use diesel and criss-cross the country transporting goods and material which keeps the country going, the continued price hike would be hitting their profitability hard. Coming out of the Covid-induced downturn and lack of business, owners of medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCVs) or even small CVs will be compelled to rejig their business models. For instance, a 37-tonner Tata truck like the LPT 3718 has a 400-litre tank. In April 2020, a full tank of diesel would have cost the owner Rs 26,076 in Mumbai. Ten months later, he has to pay Rs 33,468 for the same quantity of diesel – a difference of Rs 7,392.
Transporters across the country, which have felt the heat of the Covid-19-induced slowdown in demand over the past eight-odd months and seeing their CV fleets idle, are understandably riled. The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), which represents around 7.5 million truckers and transporters, 4 million bus operators, 160,000 goods transport companies and 2,500 taluka district and State-level federations and transport associations, has called for an emergency meeting to debate the issue and urge the government to reduce fuel prices.
Global crude prices on the upswing
The steep price rise of petrol and diesel is a direct impact of the marked rise in global crude oil prices, which in turn is a result of the global economies swinging back into work mode after the impact of the pandemic. Today’s Brent crude oil price of US $57.46 a barrel, up nearly 200% than the $18.38 a barrel on April 1, 2020 when the Covid-19 was peaking and transport and shipping operations worldwide were either in lockdown mode or minimal. However, the hapless Indian motorist never benefited from the record low prices of global crude oil either. Will there be a price cut soon? With oil on the boil, the answer is blowing in the wind.