With the recent unprecedented hike in the prices of petrol and diesel, it seems like the “Mehngai Dayan” – a term used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to attack the Congress during the UPA II government over increasing inflation, is once again back to haunt the people of the country.
The fuel prices continued its upward trend for the ninth straight day on Tuesday and recorded a new high across the states. In Delhi, the prices of petrol touched Rs 76.87 per litre, while the diesel was available at Rs 68.08 per litre.
In Mumbai, the diesel reached a record all-time high to Rs 72.48 per litre and the petrol touched Rs 84.70 per litre.
The Opposition attacked the Narendra Modi-led central government for putting an extra burden on the people, especially the middle class, by levying more taxes on petrol and diesel.
Congress leader Sachin Pilot said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came in power with a promise of reducing inflation and fuel prices but the party “breached” people’s trust.
Pilot said that the Modi government was looting people’s hard-earned money by revising prices of petrol and diesel every day despite the fact that the crude oil prices in the international market reduced drastically.
Petrol Pump Dealers’ Association puts the onus on government
Meanwhile, the Petrol Pump Dealers’ Association said that the fuel prices were directly linked to crude oil and reduced state and central taxes was the only way to reduce prices.
“Fuel prices are directly linked to crude oil. OPEC countries have reduced supplies. We don’t have anything to say to bring down the prices. We can only reduce VAT of state taxes and central taxes, that is the only way to reduce the price,” said Ajay Bansal, President of Petrol Pump Dealers’ Association.
Government says not in our hand, trying to get a solution
Reacting to the skyrocketing fuel prices, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan promised that his government will come out with a solution very soon.
“It’s not in our hand. There is less production of oil in OPEC countries,” Pradhan said.
“I accept that citizens of India and especially the middle class, suffer due to the fuel price hike. The government will soon come out with a solution,” the oil minister added.
All India Motor Transport Congress threatens indefinite strike
Strongly opposing the hike in petrol and diesel prices, the transporters body the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) had threatened to go on an indefinite strike from July 20 to protest against it.
There is resentment among the AIMTC members on the issue of rising fuel prices and its managing committee has decided to launch a nationwide strike, AIMTC said in a statement.
“The major issues are - third-party premium hike, abnormal and continual diesel, petrol hike, and toll collection policy,” the transporters body said.