On 23 March, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented a finance bill that clearly shows the decision of the Government to increase fuel prices by rising special excise duty on diesel and petrol. The bill was passed without debate. The pandemic has shaken the Indian economy very badly. Instead of helping people in this worsening situation, last month, the central government increased the excise duty on a liter of petrol and diesel by Rs.10 and Rs.13 respectively.
Is this a plan to loot people during the lockdown?
Without planning, On March 24, the next day after the finance bill passed, PM Narendra Modi announced a complete nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus when cases of the corona were nearly 500. During the lockdown, no one was allowed to go outside. Thus, there was a decline in fuel demand and tremendous loss to the Oil marketing companies as there were restrictions on the movement of vehicles.
On the other hand, government and oil companies are earning some profits in lockdown from people who are using vehicles like doctors, essential service providers, and persons who go outside in urgency as the government has raised excise duty on petrol and diesel. Apart from that, during the lockdown, prices of pulses are also rising day by day. It shows that the government is looting people by taking this step to raise some revenue to improve the fiscal situation.
What are the Government intentions behind the rise in fuel prices?
In India, petrol and diesel prices are revised according to international prices by Oil marketing companies like Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil. When the government raises tax rates on fuel, oil companies also increase the fuel prices to recover the losses. Despite the global crude oil prices are falling to the lowest, Oil companies have not cut petrol and diesel prices. Even no restrictions were imposed by the government on these oil companies regarding fuel prices.
The actual price of petrol is Rs.18.When the government adds many taxes like excise duty tax, GST and also add dealer commission and transportation costs, the price goes to nearly Rs.75 in which taxation cost is Rs.49.If the government imposes Rs1-they will earn 13-14thousand crores. So, on Rs.10-they will earn 1.5lakh crore through a tax on oil. See how they fill their pockets.
It clearly shows the intentions of government that the Indian government is trying to get more profit by imposing various taxes on fuel prices so that it can cover the revenue losses which occurred due to the lockdown.
Are we so weak as an Economy?
Since 2016, Indian Economy is passing through an inactive economic growth after the demonetization as compared to earlier years. The GDP growth of the Indian economy has reached the six-year low in the first financial quarter of April-June 2020. Key sectors having the brunt of the Indian Economy slow down are Automobile, Agriculture, Real Estate, FMCG among others.
Around 4 lakhs people lost their jobs, sales have gone down and the automobile industry appears to be going in reverse gear. The official data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) confirm that weaker consumer demand and slowing private investments are the two key factors behind the Indian Economy Slow Down.
All the economic activities have come to stand still, industries are shut and despite the announcement of Rs.20 lakh crore relief package to various sectors by the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, the economic sentiments have not shown any positive impact.
Is this the “Ache Din”?
During Elections, every time PM used to say Don’t worry, “Achhe Din” will come soon. But we have not seen ache din yet. After 2014, the government had imposed nine times excise duty on petrol and diesel prices and gave onetime relief only.
Due to the unplanned strategy of the government, the common man suffers a lot. From 2016 to 2020, there are examples of many real cases of how badly common man hits by government unplanned strategies like Demonetization, GST, Lockdown! All their plans are not fulfilled up to the expectations of Indians, according to various surveys.
The fact that the rollout of the GST on a nationwide basis has led to the slowdown cannot be denied.GST has hampered the all small businesses more than demonetization by pushing them to withhold inventory until they move to the GSTN or the GST Network and become submissive with the various rules and regulations that are part of this tax. It can be said that the implementation of GST is also flawed, thereby exacerbating some of the factors that contribute to the economic growth slowdown.
Thus we can see that the Indian economy’s condition was not good before the lockdown. Still government-imposed lockdown without planning to save economic growth.
The government knows that due to 2-3 months lockdown all businesses, companies, and markets have crashed badly. Lockdown has already broken people’s back and still, fuel rates are rising. It shows how people are getting squeezed.
Although the Foreign exchange reserve of the Indian government has touched all-time high(500 billion dollars) even during corona crises. Still, our government is unable to help poor and middle-class people. It seems that the government feels that Corona does not spread at those places where people are giving money to the government.
The government knows that numerous people are jobless due to shut down of various companies. In a lockdown, it is very difficult to find employment as there is no income source.85% of Indians have incurred loss due to this pandemic. Thus, there is no money left with people as everyone has been sitting at home for 2-3 months. Still, no action has taken by the government to control petrol and diesel prices.
In Delhi petrol costs Rs75.88 per liter, diesel cost is Rs.74.03 per liter. In Mumbai, which has become now corona city due to high cases, the petrol costs Rs.82.70, and diesel costs Rs 72.64 per liter. It has been noticed that taxes on fuel prices are more than their actual cost. Even India is the country where fuel prices are quite high as compared to other countries. Since June 7, Oil companies have been revising fuel prices daily so that they can regain the losses incurred during the lockdown.
There will be more fire in the fuel prices in upcoming days as oil companies are increasing fuel prices daily.
Why is the government not taking any action to control fuel prices? If the government decides to increase fuel prices, indirectly it will create inflation which will have a more critical impact on the consumer.
Increasing fuel rates before and after the lockdown is a plan or what? The government knows that people will use their vehicles after the lockdown.
Why has the Government has unlocked the nation when corona cases have crossed 3lakhs? Is this a strategy of the government to improve the economy by burning a common man’s pocket? After the announcement of unlocking the nation, why there is a hike in fuel rates suddenly?
If diesel and petrol prices keep on rising, how will people manage?
So many questions are running in the human’s minds. Will the government be able to give answers to every question of Indians?