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Prepare to pay different prices for fuel, daily

The current trend in India is to change fuel rates every fortnight. A shift to daily change would mean that prices don't drop or rise sharply, as prices may only change by a few paise everyday and will not lead to shock to customers.

April 07, 2017 / 10:16 AM IST
 
 
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You may now need to pay closer attention to how the oil market is behaving internationally.

A report in the The Economic Times says oil marketing companies are mulling whether to start revising petrol and diesel on a daily basis in sync with international prices.

The rationale behind the move? A shift to daily revision would mean that prices don't drop or rise sharply, as prices may only change by a few paise everyday and will not lead to a price shock for customers. It may also help the government avoid any political backlash as incremental price changes may go mostly unnoticed.

Daily revision of fuel rates is common in various advanced markets. In India, the current trend is to change fuel rates every fortnight.

According to one of the state-run oil firms, there have been talks of a daily price change for very long, but the technology has only now been made available to them.

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Earlier, revision of fuel prices would mean companies making phone calls or sending out faxes, but now with various digital means, oil companies can centrally changes prices from one location of all petrol pumps.

"Daily price revision is about introducing international standards in the Indian fuel retail market. It helps both customers as well as dealers in managing their purchases," an executive of an oil firm told the ET.

India lifted control of petrol prices in 2014 and diesel in 2010, leaving them to be governed by market prices.

The government has also encouraging private participation in the sector, with Reliance Industries, Essar Oil and Shell all having plans to ramp up their currently-small presence in the Indian fuel retail market.

Between them, Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL control 95 percent of the market.

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