A Rs 4 per litre increase in petrol and diesel prices is in the offing if state-owned fuel retailers are to return to pre-Karnataka poll hiatus margin levels, brokerage firms said.

No sooner had Karnataka polled to elect a new state government, state-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) on Monday ended a 19-day hiatus in revising petrol and diesel prices and reverted to the practices of changing rates on a daily basis.

Since then petrol price has risen by 69 paisa a litre, including a 22 paisa hike effected today that took rate in Delhi to Rs 75.32, the highest in almost five years.

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