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Crude oil prices have hit an all-time low so one would expect the price of petrol and diesel to fall as well but it did not. Here is why.

Petrol prices have increased again for the fourth time this year already

The lockdown came into effect swiftly and is being followed as strictly as possible in numerous countries around the world. Roads that thronged with traffic now lie empty because all their users are locked up in the safety of their homes, with their automobiles collecting dust in the garage. This sudden – but not entirely unforeseen – outcome has stumped the oil industry due to a stunning lack of demand for their products. As expected, crude oil prices have hit an all-new low in two decades but if you think this is enough reason to bring down petrol and diesel prices to what they were in the 1990s, that isn’t the case.

crude oil petrol diesel prices

In fact, petrol and diesel prices are almost the same now as they were before the lockdown. So, although crude oil prices have dropped, that does not reflect in the final pricing because the difference is made up by hiking the excise duty (central government tax) and Value Added Tax (different rates for different states). Excise duty is now at 46.28 per cent of the price for a litre of petrol and 45.87 per cent the price for a litre of diesel. Meanwhile, VAT (for Delhi) stands at 23.07 per cent and 23.43 per cent of the prices for a litre of petrol and diesel respectively. The government claim to have made this move to replenish their reserves that are being depleted by the lockdown crisis. Thankfully, oil marketing companies have agreed to absorb some of the losses using the profit they make from the low crude oil prices.

As long as the lockdown is in effect, petrol is being supplied only to essential personnel and pass-holders. It will be interesting to see if the situation changes once the lockdown ends.

Story: Joshua Varghese


About the author: Joshua Varghese


Would gape at fast cars. Still does but now has a chance to drive some of them. Hates driving in traffic but makes up for with a spot of off-roading or the occasional track outing. Insta: @motoknight


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