Partial rollback in petrol price hike, cut by Rs 2 a ltr

New Delhi: Faced with a public outcry over the steepest increase in India`s history, petrol prices were today cut by Rs 2.02 per litre in a partial rollback of the Rs 7.54 a litre hike effected more than a week ago. The first reduction in rates in six months, that will result in price in Delhi going down to Rs 71.16 a litre with effect from midnight tonight from Rs 73.18 at present, is a fallout of a dip in international oil prices.

Technically oil companies should have cut rates on May 31 — the due date as per the practice of fortnightly revision — but the announcement was deferred in an apparent bid to strip opposition BJP from taking credit for the move. NDA and Left had on Thursday organised a nationwide strike in protest against the hike, which had also come under sharp attack from allies like TMC and DMK and some ministers in the UPA.

Petrol in Mumbai has been cut by Rs 2.12 to Rs 76.45 per litre while in Kolkata it has been reduced from Rs 77.88 to Rs 75.81. In Chennai, the price has been cut by Rs 2.13 to Rs 75.40 a litre. Today`s decision will come as some relief for consumers battered by double-digit inflation and the May 24 hike – the first in six months and third in a year.

“It has been decided to revise the petrol prices downward by Rs 2.02 per litre (including state levies in Delhi),” Indian Oil Corp, the nation`s largest fuel retailer, making an announcement on behalf of the industry, said. “The decrease in other states will vary depending upon the rate of state VAT/sales tax”. Oil companies had last reduced rates by Rs 0.78 per litre on December 1 and by Rs 2.22 a litre on November 16. The reductions had followed a Rs 1.80 hike in rates from November 4.