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Fuel prices hike in India for 38th time

Despite international benchmark Brent crude prices falling by $1.61 a barrel or 2.06 percent at the Friday close, compared to its peak of $77.16 on Monday, fuel prices hike for the 38th time in 68 days on Saturday, with petrol prices rising by 35 paise per liter and diesel prices rising by 26 paise per liter.

Since May 4, a day after the results of five assembly elections was announced, India's domestic fuel tariffs have increased by 10.51 per liter for petrol and 9.15 per liter for diesel. In New Delhi, petrol costs 100.91 rupees a liter, while diesel costs 89.88 rupees.

While the state-run Indian Oil Corporation's (IOC) fuel rates in Delhi serve as a national benchmark, retail pricing for the two fuels varies by location due to differences in state taxes and local levies. In five metros — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Bangalore – petrol prices have already surpassed $100 per liter.

In Mumbai, a liter of petrol costs 106.93 rupees and a liter of diesel costs 97.46 rupees. The highest fuel prices have been recorded in Ganganagar, Rajasthan, where petrol costs $112.24 per liter and diesel costs $103.15.

Pump prices are also high, according to officials at state-run oil marketing businesses, since companies are recouping prior revenue losses, including the 66 days since February 27 when rates were not hiked due to assembly elections in four states and one Union territory.

During the 66-day rate freeze, state-run retailers dropped politically sensitive fuel and diesel pricing by 77 paise and 74 paise per liter in four minor increments, respectively. However, the benefits to customers were rapidly negated in the first four rounds of rate hikes, which began on May 4.

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