NEW DELHI, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Fuel prices were hiked in India on Sunday even as latest prices hit a four-year high.
While a litre of petrol will cost 73.73 rupees (1.13 U.S. dollars) to consumers, one litre of diesel would cost 64.58 rupees (around 1 U.S. dollar) in New Delhi.
A price notification issued Sunday raised petrol and diesel rates by 18 paise (0.18 rupee) per litre each in Delhi.
The rise in fuel prices is expected to renew calls for the government to cut excise tax rates on fuels. According to a rough estimate, India has the highest retail prices of petrol and diesel among South Asian nations as taxes account for half of the fuel-pump rates.
According to a Press Trust of India (PTI) report, the Ministry for Oil had earlier this year sought a reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel to negate the impact of rising international oil rates but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget presented on Feb. 1 ignored those calls.
Meanwhile, Delhi became the country's first city to sell cleaner fuels, named "BS-VI" fuels (both diesel and petrol). The Indian capital city achieved the feat two years ahead of the April 2020 deadline, by which the entire country is to be covered.
Oil refineries had invested over 55,000 crore rupees (over 8 billion U.S. dollars) for producing BS-III/IV fuels. Now, they are pumping in another 28,000 crore rupees (over 4 billion U.S. dollars) more for upgrading to BS-VI standards by 2020.