The caretaker government has pushed through a sharp hike in the price of petrol by Rs14.91 per litre and high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs18.44 per litre. The increase brings the price of petrol to Rs305.36 per litre and HSD to Rs311.84 per litre, the Ministry of Finance said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) after midnight. No revision was specified in the rates of kerosene or light diesel oil. The Finance Division said the hike was due to the “increasing trend of petroleum prices in the international market and exchange rate variations”. The local currency is at an all-time low following an easing in import restrictions that has increased the greenback’s demand and rising risks associated with financing the country’s current account deficit. The rupee has lost over Rs15 in the interbank market since the formation of the caretaker government which is tasked with overseeing at least one review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) $3 billion standby arrangement; and steering the country through to a national election that is in theory due to take place by November. The price increase comes on the heels of an already massive hike on August 15 when the interim government raised fuel prices by up to Rs20 per litre. That jump in petroleum prices had come after similar hikes by the previous government on Aug 1. The price hike is based on existing tax rates and import parity prices, mainly because of currency depreciation and a slight inc¬rease in international oil prices. The rupee yet again continued to extend losses today sliding another Rs1.09 against the US dollar in the interbank market. It closed at a record low of Rs305.54. Since the induction of the caretaker set-up, the rupee has shed 4.6pc. Through August, the rupee lost 6.2pc.