Even as the average price of Indian basket of crude oil increased by 102 per cent (from $43.34 to $87.55) between October 2020 and October 2022, the retail prices of petrol and diesel have increased in India by only 19.3 per cent and 27.1 per cent, respectively, during this period, sources said.
According to Petroleum Ministry sources, petrol prices stood at Rs 81.06 per litre in October 2020, however by October 2022, they had risen only 19.3 per cent to Rs 96.72 per litre.
Similarly diesel prices, which were at Rs 70.53 per litre in October 2020, rose by 27.1 per cent to stand at Rs 89.62 per litre.
Prices of petrol and diesel have not been increased by public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) since April 6, 2022, despite record high international prices.
As a result, against the combined 'Profit Before Tax' of Rs 28,360 crore in the first half of 2021-22, the three OMCs - Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum - have booked a combined loss of Rs 27,276 crore in the first half of 2022-23.
The Centre had reduced the central excise duty twice on November 4, 2021 and May 22, 2022, effecting a cumulative reduction of Rs 13 and Rs 16 per litre for petrol and diesel, respectively.
Following these reductions in Central excise duty, some of the states also reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) rates on petrol and diesel.
India imports more than 85 per cent of its crude oil requirements, therefore the prices of petrol and diesel in the country are linked to their respective prices in the international market.