The petrol price is an all-time high in India that has traumatized the public, especially from the middle classes. Petrol price has increased 22 times in a row since the Bengal Elections ended with the terrible defeat of the BJP. This suggests how Politics, Petrol and the Public are interconnected in which the public suffers most. In cities like Mumbai and Ganganagar and other cities of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the petrol price has crossed 100 rupees per litre.
Rising petrol prices have made travel much more difficult and financially excruciating for the common man.
On June 12, the petrol price was recorded as Rs 107/litre and diesel at Rs 100/litre in Rajasthan’s Ganganagar. The fuel price varies from state to state depends on VAT or Value Added Tax by the state. Petrol and diesel prices started rising after the assembly election results of four states and one Union Territory was declared on May 2, BJP lost elections in three states. The continuous rise of fuel prices is showing no signs of abating. Meanwhile, a war of words has started, the opposition is attacking the government for the unprecedented hike in fuel prices. Many are alleging the BJP that they are recovering their money from the public which they had spent in massive election rallies. The union government is levying about Rs 33.20 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 32 on diesel.
The steady increase in fuel prices has hit the Indian middle class hardest. According to a survey by LocalCircles published in The Economic Times, around 51 per cent of Indians are cutting on their other expenses to manage their spending on fuel prices. Around 21 per cent of the respondents to the survey said that they are “cutting spending on essentials and it is painful” for them. Another 14 per cent are dipping into savings to pay for it.
The rising fuel prices will affect the common man in many ways in their daily expenses that would ultimately affect the Indian Economy. If someone doesn’t have a personal vehicle, the price hike would cost him in risen travel cost of public transports. The hiked fuel prices will also affect the transportation costs of daily goods which ultimately leads to inflation. Fuel Price will also affect the already declined automobile sector. The high rate of fuel price will lower the demands which will drop the vehicle sales and ultimately leads to unemployment in the auto sectors.
The Chief of Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi wrote to the Prime Minister: “I write to you to convey every citizen’s anguish and deep distress regarding the spiralling fuel and gas prices. On one hand, India is witnessing systematic erosion of jobs, wages and household income. The middle class and those at the margins of our society are struggling. These challenges have been compounded by runaway inflation and an unprecedented rise in the price of almost all household items and essential commodities.”
The government needs to bring an effective and speedy solution to tackle the unprecedented hike in fuel prices to save the crumbled economy from further decline.