India hikes prices of aviation fuel, LPG

Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) price was hiked by a steep Rs 12,126.75 per kilolitre (kl), or 56.5 per cent, to Rs 33,575.37 per kl in the national capital, according to a price notification by state-owned oil marketing companies. Non-subsidised cooking gas LPG was also raised by Rs 11.5 per cylinder on the back of firming up of international oil rates, but petrol and diesel prices continued to remain on freeze for a record 78th day.

The hike in jet fuel price comes after seven consecutive reductions in rates since February. ATF price in Delhi before the reduction cycle began in February was Rs 64,323.76 per kl, which got reduced to Rs 21,448.62 last month. The irony, however, can’t be missed. During April-May, the lockdown had shut all flight operations in India. And now when domestic flights are being allowed, the price has gone up.

The government said the hike was necessitated because benchmark international rates have bounced back from a two-decade low.

On similar cues, non-subsidised LPG price was hiked by Rs 11.50 to Rs 593 per 14.2-kg cylinder. The hike comes after three straight monthly reductions in rates of non-subsidised LPG, which users who have given up subsidy buy. Also, this is the gas that domestic household consumers buy after exhausting their quota of 12 cylinders of 14.2 kg each at subsidised prices.

Petrol and diesel prices were frozen soon after the government raised excise duty on the two fuels by Rs 3 per litre each to mop up gains arising from falling international rates. The government on May 6 had again raised excise duties by Rs 10 per litre on petrol and Rs 13 per litre on diesel. Oil companies, instead of passing on the excise hike to consumers, decided to adjust them against the reduction required because of the drop in international oil prices. They used the same tool and did not pass on the Re 1 per litre hike required for switching over to ultra-clean BS-VI grade fuel from April 1.

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