In the sixth hike since June this year, State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) raised petrol price by a steep Rs. 2.35 a litre and diesel by 50 paise a litre in the face of a falling rupee and rising international crude oil prices.

The actual hike, including local sales tax or VAT, will be higher and will vary from city to city. Petrol price will go up by Rs. 2.83 to Rs. 74.10 a litre in Delhi and from Rs. 78.61 to Rs. 81.57 in Mumbai. The new price will be effective from midnight on Saturday, said State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

In a parallel move, diesel price was hiked by 50 paise, excluding VAT, in line with the January decision of the government allowing oil companies the freedom to raise prices in small doses every month to wipe out mounting losses. Diesel price in Delhi has been hiked by 57 paise to Rs. 51.97 per litre, while it will cost Rs. 58.86 in Mumbai, up from Rs. 58.23 now.

OMCs had raised petrol prices by 75 paise, excluding VAT, on June 1 and followed it up with an increase of Rs. 2 on June 16, Rs. 1.82 on June 29, Rs. 1.55 on July 15 and 70 paise on August 1.

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