The future our ancestors imagined for us was supposed to have a good life quality and better sustaining environment. Advancements sparking the fields of Technology, Economy and Socio-Political domains have made their appearances out in a big and bold fashion. However, with all the new and glittery innovative technology, a sacrifice, in one way or the other is made. Predominantly, the sacrifice has been at the cost of such expenses. One fine invention of mankind was the vehicular modes of transportation and the sacrifice made for that technology was on the cost of buying and maintenance of the vehicle.
Petrol has been an indispensable part of our everyday life and it goes without saying that it’s hard to imagine life without the most carelessly exploited natural resource available on the planet. Petroleum reserves are depleting with time and no good substitute for petrol has found a breakthrough yet. Switching to Biodiesel or Electricity is an option available for the near future, but eventually, these resources will tarnish too. The purpose here is not to scare you about the consequences of our unjustified love for petrol and diesel but bringing the situation of the hike in their prices under the limelight.
Petrol prices have always gone one direction, shooting up, and eventually, these prices end up affecting every aspect of our lives. The section of people working hard to earn a square meal per day are the ones who are majorly affected by this hike. The ever-unstable inflation finds a way to paralyze these already-burdened people. Statistics over the past three years reveals that, petrol price have increased more than 10 times over all this while. Petrol hike affects all the major sectors including transportation, textiles, automobiles, etc.. This affects the prices of everyday commodities, which are transported on a daily basis. The retail and the banking sector is also expected to suffer on similar lines due to the inflation level.
You must have heard the notion, increase in fuel price will result in an increase in food price. It is true to a certain extent. A possible outcome of such a certain scenario could be the severe impact on poor households because the not so well to do people spend more than half of their income on food and only one-tenth on fuel. It is no rocket science to establish the fact that a chain reaction once started will affect all aspects.
If we try to put it in simple words, an increase in petrol or diesel price will result in an increase in the transportation cost because of obvious reasons. Increase in transportation cost will gradually cause an increase in the price of goods, and therefore, this increase in the price of goods would force people to spend their hard-earned bucks on the basic amenities for their family. The worst part being, the chain propagates further until it settles in the core of our markets. The outcomes have always been catastrophic, pushing more people below the poverty line and leading to a worse and pathetic situation than before. The news is no less than a shocker for an aam aadmi who is trying his all to make both ends meet, for him and his family to sustain. Along with the common people, price hikes also disturb the already disturbed lives of low wages, unskilled labour working on an hourly basis, or fixed salary middle-class families. No prizes for guessing who amongst us are the least bothered by the surge. The rich and the corrupted.
The irony of the situation is that we all know the certain outcomes of this situation but we have hardly taken any step forward to address the situation out. Some felt a sigh of relief to know the fact the prices of petrol could not go beyond ₹ 99.99 because of the limitations of the petrol vending machines. Public rage has turned its colour from the dull white to active red only to fall on deaf ears of the government.
Here are the taxes you pay on fuel:
- Central Excise Duty: On Petrol, which is at Rs 21.48 per litre, whereas for Diesel, it is at Rs 17.33 per litre.
- State VAT: Around 21 states have a 25 per cent Value Added Tax on petrol, with Mumbai having the highest at 39.12 per cent. State VAT on diesel is more than 20 per cent in 14 states, with the highest in Andhra Pradesh at 28.08 per cent.
- Add it up: In Delhi, for every Rs 100 you pay for petrol, Rs 45.9 goes to the government in the form the taxes in Delhi. The amount of taxes differs in all states based on their VAT and other factors.
If the math did not intrigue you, this statement by Nitin Dossa, president, Western India Automobile Association surely will. He said: “The reason why we pay such high taxes on petrol is that around 15 years ago, a bureaucrat at the Centre, on the instructions of the minister of his department, changed paise to per cent on the tax applicable to fuels, and the rule stuck”.
The Modi regime paved way for its own trolls because, in a certain tweet, BJP mentioned they were handling petrol prices better than the UPA Government. The graphics they tweeted was reportedly aimed only at showing that the 13 per cent increase since 2014 was lower than in previous years. It was relentlessly trolled on social media and soon received a rebuttal from the Congress, who tweeted an image saying they had ‘fixed’ the graph.
India imports oil from countries all over the world in order to meet its oil requirements. The oil resources within the country are not enough to meet the needs of a billion of us. Therefore, we have to depend on the import of oil. If the price in international market increases, we too have to bear with the price hike here. The rupee is losing its value to the dollar and eventually becoming weaker in the international market.
The solution lies in hope? We pray for a certain superhero with all his superhero capabilities to take us out of this grievance. The odds of existence of a certain superhero are as low as the existence of achhe din. It’s high time we realize that the solution lies with us. The public has to stop playing the blame game addressing every time to the government. The thing we can do on our front is to reduce oil consumption by using public transport or car-pools for travelling to routine places.
Usage of high capacity transport system like a train, ships instead of trucks and carrier vans is an option worth considering. Switching to cycles to visit nearby places instead of bikes or cars. Checking for leaks in your automobiles and switching the engine off at the necessary stops. The future belongs to alternative sources and the first one, which comes to my mind, is bio-diesel and electricity. For the development of the detailed study of bio-diesel as an alternative, the government has allocated funds. Developing alternate sources of energy and embedding them within the high capacity goods and public transport system are the goals. Its high time we check on the natural resource which has the potential not to only light up your engines but also the hopes for a better tomorrow.