HIKE IN PETROL PRICE

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Whenever petrol prices are hiked, there are protests by the public and opposition for a few days, before everybody goes back to their routine but it is to be remembered that the country’s economy is being fuelled by the blood of common man. Many nations face higher inflation rates due to the rising oil prices in the world. As a consequence, the higher inflation rates have devastating impact on both production and consumers, that leade to big difference between oil importing and oil exporting nations. Though the oil prices are market based and Government can reduce tax as a populist measure.
High inflation, coupled with sky-rocketing food prices, has botched to come down. The oil price rise results in a transfer of income from oil importing to oil exporting countries, according to a shift in terms of trade. The increase in price of oil has risen the cost of fertilisers which need petroleum or natural gas for manufacturing. Natural gas has its own supply issues as oil. The rise in petrol price in turn has a rippling effect, as all the commodities are transported across India on vehicles that run on petrol or diesel, so increase in petrol price results in price rise of these commodities as well.
The additional burden of rise in fuel prices is becoming unbearable for public and is another slap on people’s face. Petrol has become an indispensable part of day-to-day life, and we can’t imagine our life without it. But the petrol prices are sky-rocketing, and it is eventually going to affect each and everything that we use in our day to day life.
Price hike affects only low wages or fixed salaried middle class families as compared to higher wages salaried class. Due to increase in the prices of petrol and diesel there has been increase in the prices of fares of vehicles causing lot a of problems for the common man and poor people, who have to travel long distances for work.
The increase in price of petrol and diesel directly affects common man making the situation miserable for him. Due to increase in the prices of petrol and diesel, there has been rapid increase in the prices of food products and other essential commodities. The poor sections of the society really suffer a lot. The poor people work hard to earn money and if prices of the essential commodities rise than life would become very hard for these people.
Inability on price control of petrol diesel will add fuel to publicdissatisfaction on Government performance and opposition will take a plea on this issue although they know Government has nothing to do on international price control of crude oil. There has always been a lot of discussion and debate on hike in the prices of fuel. Most problems arise because of the unchecked growth of vehicles with low mileage or gas guzzlers. Fuel prices need to be rationalised. Much of the taxes from fuel pricing are used for development work. This, when clubbed with populist subsidies, becomes terrible. A sharp spike in price of oil will also reverse declining trend on inflation and put pressure on central and state governments to cut taxes on petrol and diesel, which is likely to adversely impact their non-goods and services tax revenue. In spite of heavy price hike, the rich continues to live the life they are used to while the burden is borne by poor and middle-classes. As we are fully dependent on the international market for fuel, we need to cut short our dependence on it. What we need is development of bio-diesel, and Government should allocate more funds for developing alternate sources of energy as well as develop high capacity goods and public transport system. The Government should advise state governments to cut ad valorem duty on petrol and diesel. It should also cut its own excise duties on petroleum products.
The Government needs to rethink on the deregulation of petrol prices. The increase in fuel prices has affected the most. Time has now come when we need to think of alternatives such as bio-fuels and solar power. It is to be remembered that petrol is inflammable, but the cost of the petrol is highly inflammable.
Vinod Chandrashekhar

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