By increasing the price of diesel by Rs. 5 a litre and restricting the supply of subsidised domestic LPG cylinders to six a year, the UPA government has dealt a severe blow to the aam aadmi yet again. It finds it easier to pass the burden to the citizens rather than put an end to corruption.
The UPA government can justify its decision to hike the price of diesel and limit the number of subsidised LPG cylinders in any number of ways. But it could have started the procedure during its earlier tenure by limiting the number of subsidised cylinders to 12 per household and stopped the supply of subsidised gas cylinders to families with a salary of Rs. 50,000 and above a month. Why should cost cutting begin at the lower level? Every government wants to squeeze the last drop of blood out of the aam aadmi and generously distribute the natural resources of the country to the rich in the name of development.
I understand the need to improve the finances of oil marketing companies. I also understand the need to reduce the government’s overall subsidy bill. But the government should keep the interests of the common man also in mind. The price increase should be confined only to diesel cars. It should be the same as the petrol price for them. As for LPG gas cylinders, there should not be any form of rationing. It is enough if illegal connections are detected and cut.
Reforms for the UPA government seem to be only about taxing the poor and the middle class. Public transport and private carriers transporting essential goods should be exempted from the diesel price hike. Restrictions on the number of cooking gas cylinders should be applied to the rich. The diversion of such cylinders for commercial use should be arrested.
M. Srinivasa Rao,
Keywords: diesel price hike