The move to ask state-owned oil firms, who were given pricing freedom, to absorb Re 1 per litre was seen as a return of government control over pricing, leading to stocks of IOC, BPCL and HPCL tanking.
Petrol prices today: In Kolkata, petrol is being sold at Rs 85.80 per litre and diesel at Rs 77.30 per litre. In Chennai, petrol and diesel rates increased to Rs 79.79 per litre and Rs 87.33 per litre respectively.
Ramdas Athawale, whose Republican Party happens to be a BJP ally, assured that the BJP led central government is formulating ways to bring down the fuel prices. However, he also underlined that the prices for fuel can be reduced if the respective state governments cut their taxes.
The surge in rates has renewed calls for a cut in excise duty but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has remained non-committal, saying international oil prices are volatile and have not shown any linear movement.
Since August 16, while petrol prices have risen by over Rs 2 per litre, diesel prices have increased by Rs 2.42 per litre. Both tourist cab and truck associations have protested in the past complaining they are facing losses due to fuel price hike.