Like never before, the fuel prices are sky-rocketing posing a grave challenge to both government and people. After Karnataka polls, the petrol and diesel prices have been hiked for the 8th straight day to hit new all-time high. This steep rise in fuel prices becomes a huge burden on common man, employees, students, small-time shopkeepers who are all facing the heat.
Besides Modi government's incompetency to control the fuel prices, what is being talked about is the heavy duty that is imposed on fuel prices by both the Centre and State. If government cuts the duty, it will be a minor relief for the people. But the moot question is will the government bite the bullet as it would cost crores of its income on fuel.
Why Not Under GST?
While many intellectuals are demanding that fuel prices should be brought under the purview of GST, they're questioning that why fuel is alone exempted from the GST. If Petrol is brought under the GST, its price would come down at least by half. Even if the government charges 18 percent GST on fuel, the present prices would drastically come down, but the government is not ready to do so as this would affect its income largely.
Considering the statistics of income of average Indian, on an average, an Indian would have to spend about 20 percent of the daily income to buy a litre of petrol. This means it is taking a serious toll on the people's income and expenditure. Above all, the rise in fuel prices is directly proportional to the rise of daily commodities. This is yet another huge set back to common man who can't afford much.
It's high time all the Opposition parties should step in to fight against the rise in fuel prices and demand for the reduction in the excise duty to shield consumers from soaring prices.
Where Are Communists?
Earlier, Communist parties (CPI, CPM) would come out on streets and stage dharnas and call for National bandh to protest against the rise of petrol prices. But after daily revision of fuel prices came in, comrades are seen no where. The red flag is missing. Earlier, the governments used to fear increasing fuel prices considering Communists and Opposition parties. But today the situation seems to be totally different.
Ahead of 2019, fuel prices is a big issue that can't be ignored. But how come Opposition parties too not taking up the issue and do protests in order to mount pressure on the government. While international crude oil prices decide the price, the one thing that government could immediately do is to cut its duty on the fuel in order to give minor relief to people.