There was a time during the rule of Congress led UPA when the entire BJP and its central leaders now union ministers, were up in arms against then then government headed by the renowned economist Dr. Manmohan Singh against the prise rise of essential commodities including the rise in the petrol, diesal prices. Fine they did good as it is the opposition’s job to oppose anything that goes against the interest of the people.
But mind it, then the prices were not to the level of what they are today when a single litre of petrol price has been enhanced to Rs.71 despite the per barrel rate in the international market being 53 only as compared to 130 per barrel during Manmohan era. What sounds ridiculing, rather shocking is the fact that the union minister of Petroleum and chemicals Dr. Ashok Pradhan when questioned by a reporter about the drastic increase in petroleum products, despite the rates of per barrel crude being jusr Rs. 53 as compared to Rs. 130 during Dr. Manmohan Singh’s era , he said that if India really want to progress by leaps and bounds through road construction, extention in railway networks, electrification etc and seeking other facilities and privileges, the people of the country will have to bear the brunt of price rise in petro products. Wow, thanks to our honourable petroleum minister for such a prescise and pro people reply.
What Dr. Pradhan meant by his statement is that if the people of the country who voted for the government of ACHE DINN really want progress and prosper economically and otherwise, they should keep mum on the price rice front and circumstances and bear the brunt by just tolerating the miseries.
This statement is worrisome indeed as the minister and his ministry is imposing maximum excise duty on the crude oil despite it being so cheap in the international market. It has been reliably learn that the excise and taxes that are imposed on the internationally cheap petro products and crude if even partially withdrawn for the sake of the people of the country, per litre of the refined petrol will come down tremendously, within a common man’ s reach.
If we go by the conservative estimates, approximately Rs 80 thousand crores are imposed as taxes of various kinds on the total crude or petro products of the country thus burdening the common consumer. Even a laymen of the country knows that if the prices of petroleum or petro products are increased, including the diesel the transportation charges and frieght will increase manifold finally leading to escalation of prices of steel, cement, vegetables and consumer durables nationally putting the general public in disarray and quandary.
On the one hand we are talking of highly ambitious projects like bullet trains coming into our country at the cost of whopping 1.08 lakh crores at the expense of the indigenous railways already in bad shape on the other hand the prices of petrol and diesal are reaching the maximum limits opening avenues for hoarders and black marketeers to raise prices of essential commodities that are already inflated.