All political parties are raising a hue and cry over the oil price hike. Some States have reduced custom duties, excise duties and sales tax to mitigate the effect of price rise. A few parties are holding bandhs and protests. But we wonder what they will do when oil producing countries announce their next hike. Instead of politicising the issue, our parties should drive home the gravity of the situation to the people.
I wish the government had hiked the fuel prices to the maximum possible extent — petrol by Rs.20 and diesel by Rs.15 a litre, cooking gas by Rs.200 a cylinder and kerosene by Rs.10 a litre. It would have at least saved the people from more bandhs in future.
From the environmental point of view, hiking the price of petrol to Rs.100 a litre for cars would have been welcome. It would have served as a deterrent to reckless car users. Petrol for two-wheelers can be provided at a subsidised rate to protect the interests of low and middle income group.
I don’t agree that we should have different fuel prices for different vehicles (Letters, June 5 and 6). It will encourage more people to use two-wheelers, which will further aggravate traffic congestion. The only plausible solution is to use public transport.
Every time oil companies face problems due to the global oil price hike, it is the consumers who bear most of the burden. So many government staff use official vehicles without paying anything.
The common man pays for his fuel as well as the fuel consumed by the babus. If all Central and State government staff bear even 25 per cent of their fuel expenses, the consumers’ burden can be reduced significantly.