Petrol dearer by Rs 2.35,diesel by 50 paise; bigger hikes soon

New Delhi: Petrol price was today hiked by a steep Rs 2.35 per litre and diesel by 50 paise ahead of a bigger increase in rates that may also include subsidised LPG planned for next month as falling rupee made imports costlier.

The increase in petrol price, the sixth hike in 3 months, and diesel, eighth since January, are excluding local sales tax or VAT and are effective midnight tonight, oil firms said.

Next month after Parliament session ends, diesel prices may see a one-time hike of Rs 3-5 per litre, kerosene of Rs 2 and LPG of Rs 50 per cylinder as Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps to tackle a record Rs 180,000 crore of losses arising from dipping rupee and surging oil rates.

Following today's decision, petrol price in Delhi will go up by Rs 2.83 to Rs 74.10 per litre while it will cost Rs 81.57 per litre in Mumbai as against Rs 78.61 currently.

In sixth hike since June petrol price has gone up by a massive Rs 9.17 per litre, excluding VAT. Price of petrol in Delhi has gone up by Rs 11.1 per litre after including state tax since June 1.

In a parallel move, diesel price was hiked by 50 paise, excluding VAT, in line with the January decision of the government allowing oil companies freedom to raise prices in small doses every month to wipe out mounting losses.

Diesel price in Delhi has been hiked by 57 paise to Rs 51.97 per litre while it would cost Rs 58.86 in Mumbai from tomorrow as compared to Rs 58.23 currently.

Today's hike in the eighth since the January 17 and most of the losses on diesel sales should have been wiped out by now to make the fuel market priced. But the fall in rupee, around 25 per cent since April, has worsened the situation and oil firms are losing Rs 12.12 per litre despite prices being raised by a cumulative Rs 4.75 this year.

Alongside, oil firms also raised rates of non-subsidised domestic cooking gas (LPG) that households buy after exhausting their quota of 9 subsidised or cheaper cylinder.

Price in Delhi was hiked by Rs 57.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder to Rs 932.50.