According to data from oil companies, retail fuel sales in 2021-22 stood at 6,050 TKL (thousand kilolitres) of diesel and 3,044 TKL of petrol. Both are at all-time highs.
Retail sale of diesel grew by 14% from 5,319 TKL against last year, while petrol sales rose by 15% against 2,646 TKL last year.
A senior oil company official said, “Overall vehicular movement went up significantly in a year. Over the past few years, the number of vehicles on the road also increased. Consumption of fuel thus increased. Last year, due to the Covid-19 lockdown and other restrictions, there was a slump in demand for fuel, which has recovered well now.”
Due to the low-base effect due to Covid-19 in 2020 and early 2021, overall demand saw a relatively sharper rise.
“Due to the restrictions on bus movements, night curfews and inter-state travel curbs also did not take place as often in the wake of the pandemic. As cases receded overall movement and travel resumed and the number of vehicles on road also increased. As a consequence, fuel demand increased,” said a city-based petroleum dealer.
Even though petrol and diesel prices saw record high prices of Rs 108.42 per litre and Rs 99.43 per litre respectively this year, consumption was not dampened. It was only in May this year that taxes and duties on fuel were rationalized, to curb fuel prices.