Allowing for local levies, petrol per litre from Thursday costs Rs 61.33 in Delhi, Rs 68.86 in Mumbai, Rs 68.65 in Kolkata and Rs 63.94 in Chennai. The new per litre prices for diesel are Rs 50.51 in Delhi, Rs 57.91 in Mumbai, Rs 55.00 in Kolkata and Rs.53.78 in Chennai.

Petrol and diesel prices were last cut each by Rs 2 a litre on December 15, and prior to that on December 1 by 91 paise and 84 paise respectively. Prices have also been cut for the non-subsidised LPG cylinder, that a consumer may buy at market rates after exhausting the quota of 12 cooking gas cylinders, by Rs.43.50 in Delhi.

The new year's price per 14.2 kg cylinder is Rs 708.50 in Delhi, Rs 725.50 in Mumbai, Rs 746 in Kolkata and Rs 705 in Chennai. Earlier, to make up for fall in taxes due to the sustained decline in international crude oil prices, the government hiked excise duty by Rs1.50 a litre on both the fuels first on November 12.

Later, on Dec 2, the duty on petrol was hiked by Rs 2.25 per litre and on diesel by Re 1 a litre. Though consumers have been spared the impact of the excise hike, with the current cuts the government has responded to  critics that the excise hike was preventing the benefit of falling oil prices from passing to consumers.

In October, the government deregulated diesel prices by linking the fuel cost to market-based pricing. The price of the Indian basket of crude oils on the last trading day on Wednesday fell to USD 53.53 per barrel. A barrel is equal to 159 litres.

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