Bangalore, July 16: It is rather sad that a country, whose financial minister claims high of "reviving the economy" is facing the woes of petrol hike. Common man asks: Is petrol outside the economy of India? or has it missed the attention of the "all-things-paid-for" bureaucrat and politicians in the Indian government.
Certainly, a fourth hike in the price of the petrol in the last six weeks has raised eyebrows on the efficiency of the government.
"While people fill up their tanks in advance to avoid the price hike, the government fills up its pocket," said an agitated Siddhi, a bank professional. She is not the lone case to have directly hit the government, but one could feel anger boiling up among one and all on the streets, the public transports and at home.
Hike in petrol means, high prices of vegetables and cooking gas, which are already sky-rocketing. In fact the fluctuating price has kept the common man off balance.
"The government has lost the moral right to government this country. The petrol prices have an impact on lot of other things jeopardizing our monthly budget," said Hari Sharma, software professional.
Why such a situation?
Allegedly, the weakening value of the rupee against dollar has forced the state-run oil companies to take the tough decision. As a result, petrol now stands at a whopping 73.89 a litre against Rs 71.92 in many parts of the country.
On June 1, there was an increase in petrol prices by Rs 0.75 per litre, on June 15, companies increased it by Rs 2 per litre, while on June 28, it raised by Rs 1.82 per litre. And the final tag of petrol prices was settled at a hike of Rs 1.55 per litre on July 14.
"This is incredible, the government cannot cushion us from the inflation and asks us not to buy gold when the prices go down to cushion the economy. I fail to understand, why should we be at the receiving end always," says Manisha, a housewife.
Auto-rickshaw drivers pulling an auto-rickshaw by a rope during a protest against the hike of petrol and diesel prices in Coimbatore.
Bharatiya Janata Party workers burn posters of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and PM Manmohan Singh during a protest against hike in petrol price in Bhubaneswar.
Do we have an alternative?
No, sadly we don't (unless of course, we choose to leave the country; but unfortunately, even that is not possible with the stringent immigration and employment laws everywhere). There is a huge uproar of "going green" and using cycles.
Good idea! but not feasible. If you have to travel on a cycle from Old Madras Road to Jayanagar, you should be in the marathon. The public transport is already cramped and is crying for help, already. The waiting time is long, forcing usage of personal vehicle.
What the Fin Min says
Highlighting the measures taken by the government to 'strengthen' the economy, Fin Min P Chidambaram in a press conference held in New Delhi today, threw his final trump-card with a couple of railway sanctions, malnutrition of children, sexual harrassment at workplace, so on and so forth.
The word 'petrol' does not appear anywhere, which could have made a world of difference to the common man. With the current trend of petrol price hike, tell us dear Mr Minister-how are you planning to get the mal-nutritioned child some food (at least).