Petrol Prices Increased Again

20 September 2011 - Which Way to Pay

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Petrol Prices Increased Again

The latest increase of the price of petrol by the UPA government has had strong public resistance, and calls for a cut in prices are louder than ever. The cost of petrol throughout India has been hiked 12 times in 15 months, and has left the price of fuel among the highest in the world. The issue it seems is not the increasing price of oil, but to taxes. Up to 70% of the basic price is tax, whereas 23% of subsidized diesel goes to the government.

Many arguments have been born out of the discontent with the current situation. Some wish the fuel market to be like that in the US where fuel products are completely decontrolled, as well as retailers of petrol being independent. Therefore a competitive market will evolve, naturally keeping prices competitive.

Others think that taxes should be reduced and instead government expenditure should be tightened, with the flawed oil reforms abolished. The other worry over the increases is that the hikes are not in proportion with the international crude prices and therefore will lead to inflationary pressures throughout the country. If the cost of transportation of anything from food to building materials goes up, the prices of the commodities themselves will increase as companies cover expenses. The money has to come from somewhere, and it's the poorest who will eventually suffer the most.  

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