BHUBANESWAR: Fuel prices have skyrocketed in Odisha with petrol soaring past Rs 105 in Malkangiri town to record a new high on Friday.
"Petrol is being sold at Rs 105.02 per litre in Malkangiri and extra premium is priced at Rs 108.86. Diesel per litre is priced at Rs 102.10. This is a new record in the tribal town," J Pal Auto Centre's owner Om Prakash Sabarwala told The New Indian Express.
The prices of the fuel are likely to be slightly higher at distant places in the district like Kalimela due to the transportation charges, said Sabarwala, who owns a fuel station in Malkangiri Town.
In Bhubaneswar, the petrol prices crossed the Rs 100 mark on the day. While the price of per litre petrol stood at Rs 101.01, diesel was sold at Rs 97.25 per litre.
The petrol in the capital was sold at Rs 99.65 per litre and diesel at Rs 97.25 on June 29. The prices remained unchanged for the next two days.
"The petrol price in at least 10 districts of the State is higher by Rs 2 to Rs 4 as compared to Bhubaneswar on Friday," general secretary of Utkal Petroleum Dealers' Association Sanjay Lath said.
The experts attributed the rise in fuel prices across the country to an increase in the cost of per barrel (159 litre) international crude prices to USD 75.
The other factors being the United States economy has opened up and there has been an increase in the demand for fuel. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is reportedly not ramping up the production which has triggered an artificial gap between the demand and the supply of the fuel.
"The OPEC countries were adversely affected after the outbreak of the pandemic and per barrel of international crude oil was sold for 19 dollars in April last year. The countries were supposed to increase the production by June end but they have not done it so far," said Lath.
Not only the international factors that are behind the rise in fuel prices, he said, as the international crude oil prices dipped last year, but the Centre also increased the excise duty by Rs 9.92 in petrol and by Rs 12.97 in diesel.
Similarly, the State Government also increased the value-added tax by Rs 9.83 in petrol and Rs 7.49 in diesel. The idea behind the increase in taxes was to recover the revenue loss due to the pandemic and not to pinch the customers as the international crude oil prices had dropped significantly, observed Lath.
Even as the countries gradually started to lift restrictions and the prices of fuel started increasing, the Centre and the State Government did not cut the increased taxes, he added.
On Friday, the basic price of petrol in Bhubaneswar was Rs 40.41. The excise duty of Rs 32.90 and VAT of Rs 23.40 along with the dealer's margin of Rs 3.30 took the total price to Rs 101.01.
Other places where the petrol price crossed Rs 100 mark per litre are Cuttack (Rs 100.25), Sambalpur (Rs 100.63), and Rourkela (Rs 101.01.)