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    Default Petrol price raised by Rs. 7.54 a litre in steepest-ever hike

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    The UPA-II, celebrating three years in office, gave the “common man” a gift on Wednesday: the steepest- ever increase of Rs. 7.54 in petrol prices. The increase is the first in the past six months.

    Petrol price in Delhi was increased by Rs. 7.54 a litre to Rs. 73.18 with effect from midnight Wednesday, the state-owned oil marketing companies said in separate, but identical, statements.

    However, the rates of diesel, LPG and kerosene, raised in June last year, have been left untouched. But officials said the government would soon have a look at them as they also needed an increase to save the oil marketing companies from going bankrupt.

    The previous steepest increase in petrol prices was Rs.5. The oil marketing companies had twice raised the prices by Rs. 5 — on May 15, 2011, when the rate in Delhi was increased from Rs. 58.37 to Rs. 63.37; and on May 24, 2008, when it was jacked up to Rs. 50.56. The increase comes after a 14.5 per cent rise in crude oil prices and a 3.2 per cent fall in the value of the rupee.

    With Thursday's increase, petrol will cost Rs. 78.57 a litre in Mumbai, against Rs. 70.66. In Kolkata, the rate will go up
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