Petrol prices may be slashed by Rs2 tomorrow

Petrol prices are expected to come down by as much as Rs2 per litre from Thursday, as the three state-run oil marketing companies meet on Wednesday to decide prices.

While an imminent rollback in the Rs1.80 price rise effected by the retailers last week was widely reported earlier due to a softening of international crude oil prices, the extent of the reduction was expected to be much less; perhaps in the range of 60-80 paise.

The reduction in petrol prices would be the first in nearly three years, and also the first in the 18 months since the government ended controls on petrol pricing.

The prices have been raised 13 times in those 18 months, and the last hike caused a political uproar even amid partners of the ruling UPA government, particularly the Trinamool Congress.

The average global price of gasoline (petrol) in the first fortnight of November was about $5 per barrel lower than the rate which formed the basis for the price revision on 3 November.

Gasoline prices averaged $115.85 per barrel during the first half of November, as against the $121.67 per barrel average during the second fortnight of October, which formed the basis for the Rs1.80 per litre price increase.