Prices of petrol and diesel, which had remained unchanged for 24 days, possibly in view of the assembly elections in various states, saw a change on March 24 – but with a change. There is finally a price cut, a very marginal one.
In Mumbai, the price of petrol which had hit Rs 97.57 a litre – just Rs 2.43 shy of the Rs 100-a-litre mark on February 28 – has been cut by 38 paise to Rs 97.19 a litre. Delhi motorists will benefit by 39 paise a litre while their brethren in Chennai and Kolkata will gain by 34 and 37 paise respectively. Amounts which give them a few more ounces of the expensive fuel.
Diesel, as of today, in Mumbai costs Rs 88.20 a litre, down by 40 paise a litre. In Delhi, it is priced at Rs 81.10, down by 41 paise. Those tanking up in Chennai and Kolkata will pay 34 and 37 paise less respectively than they did a few days ago.
Among the reasons believed to be behind this slight cut in prices is that the cost of Brent crude oil has dropped too US 63.27 a litre, down from $68 a fortnight ago. Whether there will be continued price cuts in fossil fuels in India is difficult to say and the news that a massive cargo-container ship is stuck in the Suez Canal, causing a ‘traffic jam’ of other container ships in the world’s busiest waterway could just see global crude prices rise once again.