With oil demand plunging by more than 50% during the lockdown, petrol and diesel prices have been left unchanged for the last 24 days. Since March 16 there has been no change in basic selling price of both petrol and diesel in most cities barring Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata where VAT was hiked by Re 1- ₹1.5 a litre.
“Considering the current crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the OMCs have kept the prices of petrol and diesel unchanged with effect from 1st April 2020, which were otherwise also being maintained steady,” Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) said.
In view of the extremely volatile situation, the oil marketing companies (OMCs) are keeping a close watch on global cues and the market scenario while taking pricing decisions.
Staring at huge inventory losses, OMCs are predicting a decline of about 60% in petrol sales this month as compared with last year and a 40% slump in diesel use, according to a Bloomberg report.
IOC chairman Sanjiv Singh said their demand is running at 30% to 40% of normal, varying from product to product “We will get a boost when things start opening up, but probably not to the pre-Covid level. That may still take some time,” he said.
In Delhi, a litre of petrol is priced at ₹69.59 per litre and diesel at ₹62.29 per litre today. In Mumbai, petrol is selling at ₹76.31 per litre and diesel at ₹66.21 per litre.