A Rs. one per litre hike in petrol and Rs. 2.28 a litre increase in diesel prices necessitated due to firming global oil rates have been put off by state-owned oil companies apparently because of assembly elections in Bihar.State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) were to revise petrol and diesel prices on Wednesday as per the practice of adjusting retail pump rates every fortnight after taking into account the average international oil prices and foreign exchange rate in the previous 15-day period.No change this weekBut the oil companies chose to skip the revision this time. “There will be no change in retail price this week,” said an official at one of the three retailers, without giving reason for such an action.Industry sources said average cost of gasoline, against which petrol is benchmarked in India, had risen to $61.42 per barrel this month from $60.15 in the second half of August.Rupee vs. dollarRupee averaged 66.37 to a U.S. dollar during September 1 to 15 as opposed to Rs. 65.70 to a U.S. dollar in previous fortnight.
The combined effect of the two had led to cost of petrol at refinery gate going up by 79 paisa per litre and after adding taxes the net increase at retail station would have been 98 paisa a litre in

Delhi.Similarly, international diesel rates had risen from $56.55 per barrel to $60.78 and after taking into account the foreign exchange variations, the refinery gate price had gone up by Rs. 2 per litre. After accounting for taxes, pump rates in Delhi should have gone up by Rs. 2.28 per litre.Litmus test for BJPBihar goes to polls from October 12 and is being considered a a major test of popularity for the ruling BJP.This would have been the first increase in auto fuel prices in four months. Petrol price was last hiked by Rs. 3.13 a litre and diesel by Rs 2.71 per litre on May 16. Rates have on consecutive fortnights declined.Consumers in Delhi however saw petrol price going up by 28 paisa a litre from July 16 after the State government raised VAT rates.At the last revision on September 1, petrol price was cut by Rs. 2 per litre and diesel by 50 paise. A litre of petrol in Delhi currently costs Rs. 61.20 while diesel is priced at Rs. 44.95 per litre. Petrol price since mid-May has been cut by a cumulative Rs. 5.09 per litre in Delhi (Rs. 7.89 in Mumbai where there was no VAT increase). Similarly, diesel rates have been cut by Rs. 7.83 per litre in Delhi (Rs. 10.35 in Mumbai).IOC, BPCL and HPCL revise petrol and diesel prices on the 1st and 16th of every month based on average imported cost and rupee-dollar exchange rate in the previous fortnight.
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