India saw another hike in fuel prices on Saturday – the fourth this week – as the government faces criticism from the opposition over inflation, among other issues. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, however, on Friday had linked the surge in diesel and petrol prices to the Ukraine war, which has now completed a month.
On Saturday, the prices of petrol and diesel increased by 80 paise a litre, news agency PTI reported. Delhi will now be selling petrol at ₹98.61 per litre and diesel at ₹89.87 per litre. In India’s financial capital Mumbai, petrol prices have risen to ₹113.35 per litre, whereas diesel will now cost ₹97.55 per litre. On Tuesday, fuel prices were hiked for the first time in four months. The country also registered a surge on Friday.
Amid criticism, Sitharaman said on Friday that fuel prices are surging because of supply chain disruptions due to the Russia-Ukraine war. She said oil marketing companies are procuring crude oil on a 15-day average rate, which is higher because of the Russia-Ukraine war. The “impact of that is on all the countries. Supply chains are disrupted, particularly of crude oil… when India is globally connected in the value chain…” she said.
“Even in 1951, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru could say that Korean war can affect Indian inflation. I’ll … I’ll have to say, war anywhere can … affect us. Today in a globally-connected world, it will affect definitely,” the minister added.
Among those who have criticised the government over the issue are Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. He said the government has lifted the ‘lockdown’ imposed on the prices of gas, diesel and petrol. “Now the government will continuously ‘develop’ the prices,” he said on Tuesday when the prices were hiked for the first time since November.” The opposition claims the government has been increasing prices since the elections in five states are now over.
Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp are the major fuel retailers in India. The local diesel and petrol prices are directly linked to international prices, which directionally follow increases in crude oil prices.