The petrol price in India was hiked by nearly 11 cents per litre on Wednesday evening. The new prices in different cities would come into effect from midnight.
The actual price at which the fuel would be available in different Indian cities would depend on the amount of tax imposed. In Delhi, it would be dearer by 13 cents and priced at USD 1.30 per litre, while in the financial capital Mumbai it would cost nearly USD 1.40 per litre.
This is being described as the steepest hike ever in petrol prices in the country.
In a statement, the country's largest oil firm "Indian Oil" said: "Given the losses being incurred, the Company is compelled to increase the price of petrol by Rs.6.28 per litre (11 cents) with effect from midnight. This excludes losses already suffered till date during current financial year 2012-13, which would require an additional increase of around Rs. 1.50 (two cents) per litre in selling price of motor spirit (MS) for balance part of the year." Fuel prices in India were deregulated in June 2010.
Meanwhile, the main Opposition party the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reacted strongly to the steep hike in petrol price. Party spokesman Ravu Shankar Prasad said: "This whole petrol price hike is clearly unreasonable, arbitrary and is condemned as it will put further inflationary pressure and lead to further rise in prices. Life of the common man will become more difficult and miserable." Warning of raging protests across the country against the price hike, he demanded an immediate rollback. A key alliance partner in the Centre Government - the Trinamool Congress has also shown dismay at the steep price hike. Mamata Banerjee, the party chief and Chief Minister of eastern most state West Bengal, said she was not consulted by the Congress-led Centre Government before taking the decision to increase the petrol prices. It is strongly believed that the steep hike in petrol prices would most likely trigger angry protests across the country.