M3 Features

Fuel Prices: A Soaring Kite

September 6, 2013

Petrol has become an indispensable part of our day-to-day life, and we cannot imagine life without it. But petrol prices are sky rocketing, and it is eventually going to affect each and everything that we use in our day to day life. Poor people are already working hard to earn one square meal a day and the ever-increasing prices are definitely going to paralyze the already-burdened common man. 

Oil companies on 31 August hiked the price of petrol by Rs. 2.35 per litre, without taxes on firming international oil prices and the free-falling rupee. The price of diesel was also raised by 50 paise per litre. This was the sixth hike in petrol prices in two months, whereas diesel prices have been hiked eight times since January 17. 

Petrol price hike directly or indirectly affects all major sectors like transportation, textiles, auto, FMCG etc, for manufacturing & transportation. This, in turn, affects the prices of daily essential commodities which are transported on a daily basis. The banking sector is also expected to suffer due to a high inflation level. 

Increase in fuel price will also lead to and increase in food price. This will have a more severe impact on poor people because poor households spend more than half of their income on food and only a tenth on fuel. Increase in petrol price will increase the transportation cost, which will in turn lead to an increase in the price of goods, thus hitting people directly. The hike has obviously sent shock waves to the common man who is trying hard to make both ends meet. Price hike affects only the low wages or fixed salaried middle class families as compared to higher wages salaried class. The existing middle class is squeezed and many of those striving to attain the middle-class standard find it persistently out of remit. On the contrary, a hike in fuel prices will bring no negative impact on government employees as their DAs will be increase accordingly. The rich and corrupt are least affected by it. 

Free fall of the Indian Rupee against the Dollar is the reason for oil prices soaring high. Try explaining this to the man on the street who has little knowledge about currency market. Petrol has now been demarcated as the rich man’s fuel and so the noise or protest is negligible. It has been accepted that the upper layer of middle class would absorb the hike in prices, and protests are to be reserved for common man’s fuel kerosene, diesel and LPG. 

Petrol is a natural resource and limited in nature. We have to use it judiciously so that our future generations can also use it, and thus lead to sustainable development. As someone rightly said, "natural resources are not something we inherit from our forefathers but something we borrow from our children."

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