The reduction in petrol and diesel prices, which are effective from midnight tonight, come after two consecutive increases during February and March.

Prices of petrol in Delhi will be Rs 60 a litre from Thursday as against the current Rs 60.49, while diesel will cost Rs 48.50 per litre from  Rs 49.71, said Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation's largest oil company.

 Rates of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, in Delhi was cut by Rs 1,025 per kilolitre, or 2 per cent, to Rs 49,338 per kl. The reduction comes on the back of a steep 8.2 per cent hike in rates effected from March 1.

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Simultaneously, the oil firms hiked the price of non-subsidised or market-priced domestic cooking gas (LPG) by Rs 11 to Rs 621 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi. This increase comes after a Rs 5 per bottle hike last month.

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The reduction in auto fuel prices follows two rounds of price hikes in February and March -- first by Rs 0.82 a litre in petrol and Rs 0.61 per litre in diesel on February 16 and by Rs 3.18 per litre in petrol and Rs 3.09 a litre in diesel on March 1.

Since the last price change, "the international prices of both petrol and diesel have declined. The Rupee-US Dollar exchange rate has, however, depreciated. The impact of both these factors warrants decrease in retail selling prices of both petrol and diesel", IOC said in a statement.

Prior to these increases, petrol price had been cut 10 times since August 2014, and diesel 6 times since October 2014.

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Cumulatively, petrol prices had been cut by Rs 17.11 per litre in 10 reductions since August and diesel by Rs 12.96 a litre since its deregulation in October.

The trend was also reflected in ATF prices was which saw seven consecutive monthly cuts since August, the last being by 11.27 per cent (Rs 5,909.9 per kl) from February 1. On March 1 however, prices were jacked up by Rs 3,849.97 per kl.

Jet fuel constitutes over 40 per cent of an airline's operating costs and the price increase will raise the financial burden of cash-strapped carriers.No immediate comment was available from airlines on the impact of the price hike on passenger fares.

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