At around Rs 100.72 per litre on June 1, Petrol in Mumbai costs twice as much as it does in New York, where it sells for $0.79 (approximately Rs 57) per litre! Not a line from a meme, but a report in Business Today when fuel prices were hiked, yet again.
The price hike is akin to an inflation pandemic, which continues to attack citizens already dealing with Covid-19, lockdown, job loss, and more. According to reports, Rajasthan has the costliest Petrol at Rs 105.53 per litre and diesel at Rs 98.32 on Tuesday, at Sri Ganganagar, near the India-Pakistan border.
In Delhi, petrol was selling at Rs 94.49 per litre and diesel was at Rs 85.38 per litre. In Kolkata it was Rs 94.50 for a litre of petrol, and diesel was at Rs 88.23, while in Chennai, petrol was at Rs 95.99 per litre and diesel reached Rs 90.12 per litre, reported BT.
According to the news report, the steep rise in fuel prices across India has been happening over the past year. “The government has repeatedly raised taxes to provide a cushion for worsening public finances” reported BT adding that the taxes “make up nearly 60 per cent of the retail price.” The taxes on petrol and diesel have increased almost six-fold since 2013, however, according to the report “the sale of petrol and diesel in May still hasn’t reached the pre-pandemic level and is nearly a third of that in 2019 as large parts of the nation are under local lockdowns to battle the coronavirus second wave.”
A report by The Hindu stated that this is the 17th hike in petrol and diesel prices in a month! Overall the Petrol price was increased by 26 paise per litre and diesel by 23 paise a litre this time, this is according to a price notification of State-owned fuel retailers, stated the news report. It explained that “fuel prices differ from State to State depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges. Rajasthan levies the highest value-added tax (VAT) on petrol in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.”
In May, petrol price has risen by ₹4.09 per litre and diesel by ₹4.65 a litre reported The Hindu, adding that “oil companies revise rates of petrol and diesel daily based on the average price of benchmark fuel in the international market in the preceding 15-days, and foreign exchange rates. Brent crude oil — the most widely used international benchmark — has risen 36% this year to more than $70 a barrel. This has prompted an increase in retail fuel prices.”
And at the receiving end is the common citizen, for whom any hike in fuel price translates into a spike in the rates of daily essentials, most of which are dependent on petrol-diesel fueled transport to reach the retail market. Many on social media have decided to remind the Prime Minister of what he said about price hikes when he was Gujarat Chief minister.
Massive hike in #petrol prices is a prime example of the failure of Congress-led UPA. This will put a burden of hundreds of crores on Guj.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2012
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