A direct comparison of prices brings home the point. In the national
capital on Thursday, petrol was sold at Rs 78.35 per litre, down from Rs 78.42 on Wednesday. Compared to Friday's prices, that is just a 13 paise difference in the favour of the consumer.
On Thursday, in the other key cities of Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai, the fuel was priced at Rs 80.98, Rs 86.16, and Rs 81.35 a litre, respectively. All these prices were down by seven paise from Wednesday's levels
Why the cuts after 16 days of hikes?
According to Reuters, crude oil futures lost more ground on Friday
, with the US market set for a second week of decline on pressure from record US production and expectations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) boosting output. Global benchmark Brent crude, which was little changed in the previous session, was down 9 cents, or 0.1 per cent, to $77.47 per barrel.
On Thursday, Brent crude was priced around $77 per barrel.
The Finance Ministry has reportedly pinned its hopes on further reduction in global crude oil prices
. Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg on Thursday indicated that the retail prices of petrol and diesel could see a further decline. When asked about the mere 1 paise reduction in petrol prices announced by oil companies on Wednesday, Garg termed it "formula driven", but added that the trend for reduction had begun.