A litre of petrol in Chennai will cost Rs.74.22 from November 1, while for a similar quantity of diesel the customer in the city needs to pay Rs.56.61.

The change follows a decision of the public sector oil marketing companies, announced on Thursday, to reduce the cost of petrol while making diesel dearer.

According to information provided by Indian Oil Corporation, petrol becomes cheaper by Rs.1.46 a litre compared to the prevailing price of Rs.75.68 that was announced on October 1.

The reduction by Rs.1.15 (excluding State levies) was on account of softening of prices in international markets as well as strengthening of the rupee since the last revision (October 1), a release from IOC said. On September 1, the price of petrol was Rs.77.48 a litre, which was increased to Rs.79.55 on September 14.

While the reduction in petrol prices is bound to cheer private vehicle users, particularly two-wheeler and car owners, the decision of the oil companies to hike diesel price by 50 paise (excluding State levies) is not expected to go down well among the users. In terms of impact, this revision could be manifold from a cascading effect on the prices of commodities and vegetables as a result of the transportation costs going up to fuelling customer preference for petrol cars.

An immediate concern would be the reaction of the transporters as diesel prices, ever since the Centre authorised the oil companies to increase the price within a small range every month, have soared by nearly Rs.6 a litre since January 17. Equally important to note would be the resilience of the State government to not increase the fare of the buses run by its transport corporations.

Like in the past few months, this revision too is expected to turn people purchasing cars to settle for petrol-run vehicles. An increase in diesel price and a decrease in petrol price would bridge the gap between fuel prices. The difference in the price from Friday would be Rs.17.61 - down from Rs.19.67 on October 1 and Rs.22.11 on September 1. With diesel cars relatively costlier, the incentive for the buyers to buy them would be less.

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