Petrol, diesel prices rise as Karnataka elections end

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The prices were increased two days after the Karnataka Assembly elections. "There we go again".

The Karnataka election was "only an interval", Chidambaram, a former finance minister, said.

After a gap of 19 days oil marketing companies (OMCs) on Monday hiked petrol (17 paise) and diesel (21 paise) prices across the country, the tenth fuel price hike since 2014.

State-owned oil marketing companies are estimated to have lost about Rs 500 crore as they absorbed higher cost resulting from the spike in global oil rates and fall in rupee against the U.S. dollar.

Diesel prices in other state capitals: The product in Bangalore was available at Rs 67.27 per litre, Bhopal at Rs 69.61 per litre, Bhubaneswar at Rs 70.88 per litre, Chandigarh at Rs 64.22 per litre, Dehradun at Rs 66.46 per litre, Gandhinagar at Rs 71.08 per litre, Hyderabad at Rs 71.89 per litre, Jaipur at Rs 70.48 per litre, Lucknow at Rs 66.28 per litre, Patna at Rs 70.78 per litre, Raipur at Rs 71.42 per litre and Srinagar at Rs 69.54 per litre. For almost three weeks Oil companies had kept rates unchanged despite an increase in the input cost.

Chidambaram also said Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac's open letter on the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission deserves support. From June 16, 2017, prices of petrol and diesel are changing daily.

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Since the start of this financial year, petrol prices have gone up by Rs 1.24-1.32 per litre across the metro cities.

Last week, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh said that state-owned firms were "temporarily moderating" prices to avoid sharp spikes and panic among consumers. Before stabilising the prices, it was increasing 25-35 paise every day.

Benchmark worldwide diesel rates during this period have climbed from $84.68 per barrel to $88.63. Petrol price was seen at Rs 74.80 per litre, the highest since September 2013, and diesel was seen at Rs 66.14 per litre. Prices have since then moved more or less in tandem with worldwide rates barring a few exceptions like the period before a crucial election. These prices remained intact till May 13, 2018.

Moreover, worldwide crude oil prices on Monday fell away from last week's multi-year highs as a relentless rise in USA drilling activity pointed to increased output, while resistance emerged in Europe and Asia to US sanctions against major crude exporter Iran. Diesel prices in Mumbai are at Rs 70.43, according to Indian Oil's price list. This led to its excise mop up more than doubling to Rs 2,42,000 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15.

However, a global rally in crude prices pushed domestic fuel prices far higher than those levels.

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