Tamil Nadu

Petrol prices touch an all-time high in city

On Pongal when fuel prices changed, nobody noticed that the city had touched an all-time high in petrol prices.

It now stands at ₹87.4 a litre. The previous all-time high was ₹87.33, which climbed to ₹87.39 a litre for just one day in October and then slid down. This rate is for fuel outlets inside the core city area and as the distance increases, the prices increase and are over ₹87.5 a litre.

Consumers like G. Ramakrishnan, of Besant Nagar, are questioning the hike and demanding that the Centre and the State reduce their income from fuel. “At a time when the government must help the people and restart the economy, such a move amounts to overburdening the public. Most homes are already suffering from pay cuts and lay-offs. In such a situation, this will lead to increase in transportation costs, which is unfair,” he said. T. Sadagopan, consumer activist, said such an increase would lead to a further rise in prices of vegetables and provisions. “These are already becoming very costly and families are struggling to make ends meet. People are buying only what is absolutely necessary. Cooking gas rates are also increasing every month. In fact, it went up twice last month,” he said.

Chennai Perunagar Amaipu Sara Auto Ottunar Paadhugappu Nala Sangam’s T. Venkatesan said nearly 30% of autorickshaw drivers had moved on to other jobs during the lockdown. “After the pandemic, people are opting for own vehicles and not using autorickshaws. We do not know how or when business will pick up. We are just managing with bare minimum trips,” he said.

Oil industry sources said the prices were set to increase further. “We expect it to go up to ₹90 a litre and then may be drop by ₹5 a litre. But reduction part is only a guess. What the government is doing is unfair to customers. Fuel outlets are yet to see their business to pre-COVID-19 sales due to the increasing fuel prices. Only those who have to go out on work are using vehicles. People are yet to go on holidays or even long trips,” an industry source said.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 10:15:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/petrol-prices-touch-an-all-time-high-in-city/article33590839.ece

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