#THREAD on fuel prices: I started covering the petroleum sector in 2014, shortly after the Modi government took charge.
One of the first stories I did then was that a cut in the price of diesel is expected considering the fall in crude oil price from around $ 105 a barrel. The price of diesel then was around Rs 57 a litre and petrol was around Rs 70 a litre.
Shortly after taking charge, the government deregulated diesel prices (petrol price was deregulated in 2012 by earlier regimes).
It was said that petrol and diesel prices in the country are market linked and that they would be revised fortnightly by oil marketing companies. LPG and kerosene prices were still regulated and were revised monthly.
Some years later, in June 2017, it was announced that petrol and diesel prices will be revised everyday.
In 2014, petroleum beat reporters were sent (smsed) a price notification about the crude oil price every day by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. There were monthly updates about the LPG and kerosene prices, with details about the quantum of subsidy being borne.
Indian Oil also had a historical price chart for petrol and diesel prices on their website. It was updated after every price revision. The data was publicly available for as long back as 2000 (if I remember correctly).
Most of this information is not readily available any more. There are no price notification messages sent now. Most of this data is not prominently published. The government does not even reveal the quantum of subsidy it is offering (if it does at all) on domestic LPG cylinders.
This withholding of sensitive information that concerns end consumers of fuel is a matter of deep concern.
Further troubling is the shifting on blame now on international prices (that are still lower than 2014) when taxes are the real reason for such high petrol and diesel prices.
Petrol is now sold at ₹ 90.58 a litre while diesel at ₹ 80.97 a litre in Delhi. Petrol price has also topped an alarming ₹ 100 per litre in some parts of the country while the price of crude oil is (just) $ 62.91 a barrel. #END
Correction: Petrol was deregulated in 2010

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