Petrol price on Wednesday was hiked by 70 paise per litre, the fifth increase in rates in two months, and diesel by 50 paise per litre on firming international oil prices.

The increase in rates, which will be effective midnight tonight, are excluding local sales tax or VAT. The actual hike will be higher and will vary from city to city.

Petrol price in Delhi will go up by 84 paisa to Rs 71.28 per litre while it will cost Rs 78.61 per litre in Mumbai as against Rs 77.73 currently.

This is the fifth increase in rates since June and in all petrol prices have gone up by a massive Rs 6.82 per litre.

Oil firms had on June 1 raised prices by 75 paise, excluding VAT, and followed it with a Rs 2 per litre increase on June 16, a Rs 1.82 increase on June 29 and Rs 1.55 hike on July 15. In a parallel move, they also hiked diesel rates by 50 paise, excluding VAT, in line with the January decision of the government allowing them freedom to raise prices in small doses every month to wipe out mounting losses.

Diesel price in Delhi has been hiked by 56 paise to Rs 51.40 per litre while it will cost Rs 58.23 in Mumbai from tomorrow as compared to Rs 57.61 currently.

Today's hike in the seventh since the January 17 and all losses on diesel sales should have been wiped off by now to make the fuel market priced. But the fall in rupee, 12 per cent since April, has worsened the situation and oil firms are losing Rs 9.29 per litre despite prices being raised by a cumulative Rs 3.75 this year.

Announcing the price hikes, Indian Oil Corp ( IOC), the nation's largest fuel retailer, said it will end the fiscal with a revenue loss of Rs 1,28,500 crore on sale of diesel, domestic cooking gas (LPG) and kerosene.

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