New Delhi, Jan 16 (Agencies): State-owned oil companies on raised petrol prices by Rs 2.50-Rs 2.54 per litre, the second hike in a month, on back of rising crude oil prices.

Oil firms hiked jet fuel prices by 2 per cent, the seventh straight increase in rates since October when international crude oil prices started climbing.

Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) rates in Delhi have been hiked by Rs 948.5 per kilolitre, or 1.98 per cent, to Rs 48,764 per kl with effect from midnight tonight, an official of Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation's largest fuel retailer, said.

The latest hike comes on the back of a Rs 935 per kl hike from January 1 and a massive 3.6 per cent increase on December 15.

With this hike, IOC and sister public sector retailers Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have raised prices of jet fuel, or ATF, on seven occasions since October.

The ATF price in Delhi on October 1 was Rs 40,728.52 per kl. The rates were increased by Rs 8,035.48 per kl or 19.7 per cent in seven tranches since then, in tandem with a surge in
global oil prices which have risen to USD 98 per barrel mark.

In Kolkata, the ATF price has been hiked by Rs 1027.26 to Rs 56,186 per kl, while in Chennai, it will cost Rs 52,323 per kl as against Rs 51,275.32 per kl currently.
Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest fuel retailer, will raise petrol prices by Rs 2.50 per litre with effect from today, while Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) would hike rates by Rs 2.54 a litre, an industry official said.

Bharat Petroleum Corp, the third state fuel retailer, would raise price by Rs 2.53 per litre with effect from Sunday.

The three firms from on December 15-16 raised petrol prices by Rs 2.94-2.96 per litre, the biggest hike in six months.

Petrol at IOC outlets in Delhi now costs 55.87 per litre and from tomorrow it will be priced at Rs 58.37 a litre.

The fuel at HPCL and BPCL pumps would be sold at Rs 58.39 per litre from tomorrow.

Petrol at HPCL pumps at present costs Rs 55.85 per litre while it is priced at Rs 55.86 a litre at BPCL fuel bunks.

The official said the increase follows international crude oil prices climbing to USD 92 per barrel.

The state-run retailers are deliberately adopting marginally different rates to avoid being accused of acting as a cartel in the free market.

The government had freed petrol prices in June this year, but the state firms, which control 98 per cent of the retail market, continue to informally consult the oil ministry before revising prices.

BJP on Saturday demanded rollback of the increase in petrol prices, saying the seventh hike in the last six months was totally unjustified and loot of the common man.

"This hike is totally unjustified. This is nothing but loot of the common man by the government. A product which costs Rs 30 is being sold at Rs 60, which is a 100 per cent taxation. We call for its rollback," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

He said the ground of under-recovery by the oil companies cited by the government as the reason for the hike is not true.


Price rise lesser than desired retail selling rate: IOC
A day after raising petrol price by Rs 2.50 per litre, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation's largest fuel retailer, today said the increase was less than the Rs 3.72 a litre which was needed to make domestic rates in line with rise in cost.

"Based on current price levels in the international oil market, the desired increase in the retail selling prices of petrol in a market like New Delhi should have been Rs 3.72 per litre. However, IOC has chosen to soften the impact on the customer by increasing the price by Rs 2.50 a litre," the company said in a statement here.

The IOC said it has not passed on the balance required increase of Rs 1.22 per litre.

"Even during the previous revision of the price of petrol with effect from December 16, 2010, as against the required increase of Rs 4.90 per litre in the price at New Delhi, the actual increase was confined to Rs 2.96 a litre thus leaving a gap of Rs 1.94 per litre in anticipation of a likely fall in the price levels in the global oil market," it said.

However, with the persistent rising trend in the international oil prices, average prices of the Indian crude basket have gone up from USD 87.83 per barrel during the earlier petrol price revision in December to the current level of USD 92.31 a barrel.

"Average global prices of petrol during the same period have gone through an even higher increase of USD 5.17 per barrel, rising from a level of USD 95.30 a barrel to USD 100.47 per barrel," IOC said.

It said state fuel retailers continue to lose heavily on diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene, rates of which have not been revised since June last year.

They are losing Rs 7.65 per litre on diesel, Rs 19.60 a litre on kerosene and Rs 366.28 per 14.2-kg cylinder.

"IOC is currently incurring an under-realisation (revenue loss) of about Rs 159 crore per day on the sales of these three sensitive products," the statement said.

The gross under-realisation for the year 2010-11 is projected to be as high as Rs 40,600 crore for IOC (Rs 73,600 crore for all the PSU OMCs).

"The current increase in the retail selling price of petrol was absolutely warranted and necessitated in the context of the above scenario," IOC added.