Demanding roll-back of steep hike in petrol price, various residents' welfare associations in and around Nanganallur, Citizens Forum, Madipakkam, Merchants Association, and All India BSNL Pensioners Welfare Association (AIBSNLPWA) jointly organised a protest demonstration near Nanganallur market, recently.
Representing AIBSNLPWA, D. Gopalakrishnan explained the background that the NDA Government led by BJP dismantled the ‘Administered Price Mechanism' from April 2, 2002. Prior to that date, price determination of petrol was with the Central Government. In October 1998, the price of petrol was Rs.23.94 and on April 1, 2002, it was Rs.28.49. After April 2, 2002 the price increase was high and very frequent.
Within the eight-year period of UPA rule, the increase is 114.64%. He explained that the crude oil price today is 90.94 US dollars which works out to Rs.5,306.
The cost of one litre crude oil works out to Rs.32.07 and if the additional cost for refining, capital cost, transportation, dealer's commission is added it works out to Rs.45.64 only per litre. The remaining 33 rupees in a litre of petrol is taxes levied by Central and State Government. If the Government reduces tax then the price increase can definitely be avoided. He said that the export incentive given to private oil companies should be stopped. These two aspects were the recommendations in the 10th report of the standing committee of Petroleum Ministry.
Other speakers Pechimuthu (UF of Nanganallur Welfare Associations), N.L. Sridhar (Citizens Forum), Harikrishnan (Pazhavanthal Nanganallur Vyapaarigal Sangam), K.R. Krishnan (Rajaji Centre for Public Affairs), Balakrishnan (Senior Citizen Forum), Janaki Rajagopal (Lakshmi Ladies Club), V. Subramani (Traffic and Transportation Forum), Indrani (Arivoli Iyakkam) and Inbasekaran (SBI Welfare Association) also urged the Union Government to withdraw the price-rise. Social Activist V. Rama Rao who welcomed the participants said that petrol price-rise will have an impact on many, as medicines would cost 30 per cent more, auto-fare and school-van cost would also go up immediately. General Secretary of UF of Nanganallur Welfare Associations, K. S. Ragavan proposed a vote of thanks.