Hartal byte: Kerala has higher fuel prices than metros

Muriel Colon
September 11, 2018

In New Delhi, petrol price reached Rs 80.73/litre; an increase of Rs 0.23/litre and diesel was at Rs 72.83/litre which is a Rs 0.22/litre hike. The nationwide bandh has been called by the Congress over rising fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee.

Normal life was hit in some states Monday with offices and educational institutes remaining closed and vehicles off the roads during an opposition-sponsored Bharat Bandh in protest against rising prices of petrol and diesel. Several incidents of vandalism were also reported.

In other metro cities, too, fuel prices continued to soar.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who shared the dais with other Opposition leaders, said it is necessary to make the government understand that they have completely failed to serve the nation.

Maharashtra is among those states where petrol, diesel prices are the highest in India.

Addressing the Legislative Assembly, the AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu accused the BJP government at the centre for not considering to reduce fuel prices despite earning large sums through various taxes. "This reflects the government's audacity and arrogance and insensitivity towards the common man". The numbers can rise.

The prices being revised on a daily basis are wreaking havoc on the economy, causing the maximum damage to the already weakened sections- farmers, small contractors, truckers and ordinary people, and spurring a call for Bharat Bandh on September 10 by the Left parties, joined in by other opposition parties, including the Congress.

Prominent political parties SP (Samajwadi Party), BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party), TMC (Trinamool Congress), DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) backed the Bharat Bandh. Nearly half of the retail selling price of the two fuels is made up of Central and State taxes.

The current price hike across the country, is a result of multiple factors including the worldwide geopolitical situation, a diving rupee, but most importantly, the government's unrelenting tax regime and the silence of its ministers over the issue.

Calling the hike in prices of petroleum products a "momentary difficulty" due to the global crisis, the BJP on Monday condemned incidents of violence during the Bharat Bandh.

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