NOC hikes prices of petro products

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State-run oil companies on Tuesday hiked petrol and diesel prices for the second straight day after a 19-day hiatus ahead of the assembly elections.

The conclusion of Karnataka polls continues to bring crude shock for the common man with the price of petrol and diesel increasing by 15 paise and 22 paise, respectively, in Delhi.

Before Monday, petrol and diesel prices were last revised on April 24 when they were hiked by 13 paise each.

This followed public sector oil marketing companies revising the fuel prices across the country, something that they opted for after a gap of nearly three weeks. According to experts the three oil marketing companies - Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd- together suffered losses of around Rs 1,500-1,700 crore due to the steep rise in prices. Brent crude oil had touched $79.47 a barrel, its highest since November 2014, following concerns that U.S. sanctions on Iran are likely to restrict export of crude from one of the biggest producers in the Middle East. Also, the rupee has weakened to Rs 67 per U.S. dollar from Rs 66.62, making imports costlier.

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The NOC, however, has not increased the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Analysts estimate the three OMCs - Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd - took a combined hit of over Rs 1,500-1,700 crore since the start of April, when the prices marginally higher despite a steep rise in global oil prices.

Abhishek Bansal, Chairman, ABans Group, a commodity trading company, said that oil is the most basic commodity and any gradual effect of rising prices may have adverse effect on many other commodities and industries.

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