The Central government is in the “habit” of passing on the burden of its own making to the common man who is already struggling with inflation and other blows in the form of high costs of essential commodities. Wednesday's petrol price hike will definitely have a domino effect. Traders will only use this as an excuse to make life more miserable for us. Austerity measures undertaken by the government should be implemented quickly before matters go out of hand. It is sad and makes one anxious that everyone, from the local politician upwards, is wasting the tax-payer's money on unnecessary events while the government is unable to ensure the basic comfort of the common man.

P.K. Syam Kumar,

Chennai

The fatal blow the UPA-II government has delivered to its constituency, aam aadmi, immediately after the Parliament session and the celebration of its eighth anniversary of governance, shows that it is scheming. After the spate of scams, where precious money has gone down the drain, it seems to be laying the foundation for its being voted out of power. The next government will have a lot of debris to clear in 2014.

Capt. T. Raju (retd),

Secunderabad

How does the government expect the common man to survive? It seems to have got all its priorities wrong. Why does it encourage automobile manufacturers?

P. Arun Kumar,

Kakinada

All of us should pause and look at some unpleasant realities that are going to unfold in the future. The era of cheap and abundant oil is over. We must find ways and means to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. This can only be done by reducing oil consumption, especially for personal transport. The government must devise suitable transport policies that take off the most number of personal vehicles from public roads. If we fail to make suitable adjustments to our lifestyles, the transition to a less carbon intensive era is bound to be chaotic and disruptive.

V.N. Mukundarajan,

Thiruvananthapuram

For the common man, the many theories of how losses occur and which are trudged out by the oil marketing companies are of little relevance. What he wants is a solution to this problem. The Finance Minister's dismissive reaction to the price hike reflects the callous manner in which the UPA government treats the people of the country.

J. Anantha Padmanabhan,

Tiruchi

The price hikes have been sporadic in recent years. The government must find ways to reduce the price of fuel and introduce measures to satisfy oil marketing companies. The common man has been tortured beyond his endurance.

K. Raghav,

Chennai

The steep increase in petrol price is not totally unexpected as public sector oil companies have been clamouring for its increase for quite some time now.

There is no need for over reaction as we have already learnt to live with the price increase of essential commodities in daily life. People have still not been deterred from purchasing cars and bikes, whose sales have been increasing every quarter. In these circumstances, the bandhs and hartals announced by the Opposition lack credibility.

K. Sivasubramanian,

Thiruvananthapuram

Since this is a national issue and affecting all across the nation, there must be concerted efforts by both the ruling party as well as the Opposition to find a permanent solution. The main thrust must be on educating the public on a war-footing about the urgent need to conserve oil, and explore the possibilities of alternative sources of fuel. Also, the State governments should totally waive the tax on petroleum products.

C.A.C. Murugappan,

Kothamangalam

The reasons given by the government that petroleum prices are deregulated and that oil companies decide on their own price will not go down well with the masses in view of the fact that the Oil Ministry has a final say in such matters.

A.S. Farida,

Chennai

Has the government made a study of how fuel consumption can be brought down by a judicious use of government vehicles which alone account for a major portion of petrol expenses? Every day one sees government vehicles belching fumes and running on worn out, under-inflated tyres — all factors that increase fuel consumption.

C.M. Umanath,

Kozhikode

A non-renewable resource such as oil will run out soon if not used properly. Rather than blame the government, we should first think of alternative resources such as solar energy, bio-fuels, etc. The government should encourage research in this field. And why is the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy keeping quiet? This is the time it must be pro-active. Also, the media should take the time and energy to do in-depth reports and stories on solutions. I have still to come across a single TV channel that has done this. All we saw on Wednesady night were reporters standing outside petrol pumps and interviewing vehicle owners. We learnt nothing new.

Shyni S.,

Madurai

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