This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

India And Its Oil Price Tragedy: Government Alone Must Not Be Blamed, We Are Equally Responsible

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Mahitha Kasireddi:

Since May 30th all that I observed is that the radio jockeys have nothing else to talk but about the petrol prices, and good news, they have started giving away 5 liters of petrol as a gift to the winners of their shows. The anchors in news channels are discussing this issue so intensely as if nothing else is happening in the country. The critiques have found an apt situation to crack a new series of petrol-government jokes. The social media is filled with hate massages from public and not to forget the cartoons and pictures being shared to express anger.

Well, jokes apart. The already cribbing people about many things were woken up on the morning of May 30th with dismaying news of the sudden and biggest hike of Rs 7.54 per liter petrol. Thanks to the agitations carried out by the opposition and the Congress led coalition party which helped in urging the government to review the prices once again on June 2rd.

Usually when a major change occurs it is obvious to look around for someone to blame. I know everybody would say that it’s the government. But, my brothers and sisters it is essential for all of us take cognizance of the factors lying behind the change.

The three parties who have a hand behind the scenario of the price hike are the OMCs, the RBI, the Government and of course we the citizens. Will you agree if I say that you and I are also responsible for the hike that happened a few weeks ago? Do not be offended, I am not taking a pro-government stand.

Truth lies in the thin line drawn between for and against. Let’s see what each one has to say.

What the OMCs had to say?

First of all let me give you some statistics of the currency figures that the oil companies are churning or rather I should say loosing. Diesel is currently sold at a loss of Rs 15.35 a liter, Kerosene at Rs 32.98 per liter loss and Rs. 479 on the sale of every 14.2 kg domestic LPG cylinder.

The Three public sectors firms have together lost Rs 138.541 crore on 2011-12 and projected to be going to loose an astronomical amount of Rs. 193.880 crore.

They have been making themselves heard continuously from the past two months and lastly have also threatened the government of increasing the prices if they don’t either cancel the taxes imposed on them or provide subsidies.

What the government had to say?

Due to the latest development in the petrol prices, the already unhappy UPA has been labeled ‘pro-rich’. But, sadly the poor government is left with absolutely no option due to the miserable performance of the rupee against dollar lately. By increasing the petrol prices the government has partially attended to the problems of the oil companies. After all they cannot be allowed to continue longer in the red.

As we know that the government has done a second review to the prices of petrol on June 2nd cutting down by Rs 2.04, and now recently by Rs. 4. This was possible due to the revision of the rupee position.

What the RBI had to say?

How many of you understand inflation? It is one baffling term in economics and you need to do some study to get a picture of it. The general understanding is that a rise in price of all the basic commodities is called inflation. The economists have a better picture than us.

The RBI has insisted that the government should increase petrol prices as it would lead to a healthy inflation which in a long run, that is in about 6-8 years, will help in bringing about a sustainable growth in the economy.

The reason why the diesel prices are untouched is that the major transportation of food and all basic commodities is done through heavy vehicles like lorries which run on diesel. If diesel prices go up then the burden will directly fall on the common man. So, this is not bad, is it?

How are you and I responsible?

For a while let us all stop being hypocritical and confess to some details. How many of us take out our cars, bikes and scootys to travel to destinations which are less than half a kilometer?

Review the number of times you took out your vehicles when it was not that necessary at all. How about adopting some petrol saving measures? How many of you have sincerely put your cars in off mode while stuck in traffic for long hours? We are forced to use the oil resources till the last drop thus leaving nothing for the posterity.

Talking of cars which have a capacity of at least four people are driven by a single person adding to traffic and pollution on the road. Luxury makes us lazy. Imagine if all the single person carrying cars can be removed from the road by shifting them to public transport.

What is wrong in using the public transport, after all we are paying taxes.

Have any of you thought about using a cycle, at least for short distances, like to your collage? I know, we are so damn meager in our thoughts and attitude that we can’t allow others to make fun of us. All of us are living in the same environment and it is each one’s responsibility to make this place a better place to live.

We should all aim for a pollution free environment. By increasing fuel prices the government is silently promoting the GO GREEN movement.

I say that the prices should always be up so that it would reduce the consumption rate of petrol and help in saving some for future.

Is petrol in India really the costliest?

To help you understand here is some data:

Country Price in Rs/litre
Pakistan 59/-
China 72/-
Nepal 75/-
Australia 78/-
Japan 94/-
Hongkong 108/-
UK 120/-

Actually, I could have concluded here but I do not want to dilute your brain with a one sided opinion. All this was happening on one side of the wall I would also like to project the other side.

No doubt the rupee’s depreciation following the euro zone debt crisis has caused all the chaos. It is the government’s responsibility to take measures to improve its performance.

In regard of the petrol prices, the government as I said is not totally at fault but in a way it is responsible. The main reason the public and the opposition were agitated is that in 2011-12 the prices have already been reviewed five times and this was an exhorbitant rise. The OMCs have been pressing the government on this issue frequently but the government paid a deaf ear. This had to happen anytime as a result of not acting at the right time. A periodic revise in the prices would have been better than throwing the burden all at once.

Bad Public Transport

How many of us are satisfied with the public transport facilities? Once we opt for going by a bus we should also be prepared to spend more time on travelling unlike when we have our own vehicle. The government needs to spend more on the transport infrastructure in order to increase flexibility and speed.

Why only “aam admi”?

The burden of the rise in petrol prices has to be borne not by the ministers who use the government vehicles less for official purposes and more for personal things like picking their children from school or for going shopping with family, not by the ministers who travel foreign countries on official duty but majority of the times when it is was not that necessary. The burden has to be borne by the aam admi.

We are like non-combatants here.

After aggregating the per liter cost of crude oil, processing cost, dealer commission, overhead and transport cost, the original price of petrol would amount to Rs 45 and the remainder is the result of various duties and taxes imposed by the government. The OMCs pay a Rs 14 excise duties and Rs 18 VAT totaling up to Rs 32 per liter. Coming to a bad end, today, the price per liter petrol in major cities is not less than Rs 73.(approx). Adding the new rise of Rs 7.54 per liter, it costs at least Rs 80 per liter.

Why can’t the state share the burden too? In our country where there are states like Andra Pradesh which taxes at a highest rate of about 34% there are also states like Uttarakhand, Kerala and Goa where there is absolutely no tax. The state governments should relieve us of the taxes imposed by them.

The Finance Minister Pranab Mukherji has insisted the state governments to call off taxes at state level responding to which the Andra Pradesh government has cut down on the VAT by 2%.

Turning out to be a pro-rich economy

Another non-combatant here is the automobile industry. Yes, I am talking about the diesel cars. Keeping the diesel prices untouched is no solution to the situation but will give rise totally different consequences.

The demand- supply is a straight and easy one. With increase in petrol prices, the demand for petrol cars will come down and will generate a demand for diesel cars. Taking advantage of the situation the prices of diesel cars will be shot up as the rich can however afford them. Oh yes, the Indian roads would look fabulous with costly cars moving around. This will now give rise to a large gap in sales of petrol and diesel cars.

Can you understand the irony here? The rich are buying diesel at subsidized prices. Thankfully, the center has announced a new excise duty to be imposed on diesel cars responding to wide critisizism from all sides.

Are we really affected by the price rise?

Now, has anybody stopped using your bikes or cars on account of this development in the fuel price? I bet none! The prices will again be reviewed on June 16th and from this time we will be able to absorb any shock.

All we can do is to adopt oil saving techniques and use our vehicle judiciously. Walking a few distances is good for health. And when situations are too scary simply shift to public transport like buses or trains for a day or two or use cycle rickshaws for short distances.

All you boys can enjoy the extra pocket money under the disguise of petrol and take your girls out of a long walk.

Source for statistics: The Hindu, The Economic Times, Google news.

You must be to comment.
  1. Corruption Free

    Let price of cooking gas fall equally with the price of crude oil, by 50% now and according as price of crude oil falls further, let the price of cooking gas also fall and let it not rise again.Let all the benefits of the drop in oil prices be passed on to the people, let the price of gas also be revised according to the drop in price of oil and let the need for bank accounts and aadhar card be removed as the prices have fallen below subsidy levels in India. Let this be done immediately else let the government be removed.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Pradyumn Singh

By Md Ghalib Hussain

By Mayank Aswal

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below