Starting from May 1, 2017, you might notice petrol and diesel prices change every day in accordance with international oil prices. Major state-owned fuel operators such as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) will reportedly start a test run in five cities from the said date to check if this idea can be implemented nationwide. The aforementioned fuel retailers own over 95 per cent of around 58,000 petrol pumps in the country. And being a monopolistic market, there’s a good chance that daily revision in fuel prices will become a nationwide concept soon.
The test run for daily revision of petrol and diesel prices will be conducted in five major cities, namely – Puducherry, Vizag, Udaipur, Jamshedpur and Chandigarh. After studying the findings, it will gradually be applied to other parts of the country.
Revising fuel prices based on a daily basis is something that most of the developed nations do. The advantages of revising fuel prices daily will be more accurate than the current format of fortnightly price revisions since it’ll eliminate big price hikes/cuts in fuel prices. At present, oil companies average out the fluctuations in international fuel prices between 1st and 15th of a month, and only then the revised rates are applied. Like, for instance, the recent price revision saw oil companies reduce the price of petrol by Rs 3.77/litre and diesel by Rs 2.91/litre. Once the fuel prices are revised on a daily basis, the difference in price changes won’t be more than a few paise per litre. Another way to look at it is that the consumer won’t easily notice the rising fuel price if it does, and the market will be less resistant.