14.05.2011  In the steepest hike ever, state- owned oil companies today increased petrol price by about Rs 5 per litre with effect from midnight tonight.  The increase in petrol price, which the oil firms had been holding since January even though crude oil had touched a two-and-a-half-year high, came a day after election results of five state assemblies were announced.

IndianOil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum will hike rates between Rs 4.99 and Rs 5.01 per litre in Delhi with effect from midnight tonight.

Petrol in Delhi currently costs Rs 58.37 per litre. The government had freed petrol price from government control in June but the state-owned oil firms had not raised prices on an ‘informal’ dictate from the oil ministry.

“The hike needed to make domestic rates at par with international prices was Rs 9.50-10 per litre but oil companies choose to hike rates by just half of that,” an industry official said. “Another hike in petrol price is on cards soon.”

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