Calcutta, March 2: Public sector oil marketing companies yesterday raised the prices of diesel sold to bulk consumers like the railway and defence by Rs 1.20 a litre despite protests in Parliament last week.
At the same time, oil companies reduced the price of domestic non-subsidised cooking gas by Rs 38 for a 14.2 kg cylinder.
Following the revision, cooking gas will be sold at Rs 933 a cylinder in Calcutta and neighbouring areas to consumers with a yearly quota of nine cylinders.
While the reduction in cooking gas prices will bring relief to consumers, the hike in diesel prices will hurt bulk users that also include various state transport corporations in Bengal.
In January, the government had allowed state-owned oil firms to sell diesel to all consumers buying diesel in bulk at market rates.
Following yesterday’s decision, oil companies are now selling diesel to bulk consumers at Rs 65.10 per litre. The fuel is, however, sold for Rs 52.04 per litre at petrol pumps in Calcutta.
Oil companies said changes in crude prices in the international market had led to the price hike. International LPG contract prices have softened.
There has been widespread criticism of the decision to charge market-determined prices from bulk users that serve the common man even as relatively affluent private car owners continue to enjoy subsidised rates for diesel sold in retail outlets.
Yesterday, oil companies had raised petrol prices by Rs 1.75 a litre, taking the price to Rs 78.34 a litre in Calcutta. This was the second hike in two weeks.