Fuel Price Hike: Is It Another Way to Rob the Public?


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Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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In India, oil firms use the newly given freedom to increase prices of fuel such as petrol, Diesel oil and cooking gas in small doses.

On February 15, 2013, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) hiked the price of petrol by ₹1.50 per litre and the price of diesel by 45 paise per litre. It was the second price adjustment in February. A statement issued by IOC said that a rise in international oil prices and depreciation in rupee have necessitated the increase in the price of petrol and diesel.

The increase announced excludes local sales tax or VAT and the real hike for consumers would be more after including the duty and other incidences. So, the price in Delhi will go up by almost ₹1.80 per litre after taking into account 19 per cent VAT. Diesel rates would go up by 51 paise.

Yet again, India woke up on March 1, 2013, to face another price hike of petrol. IOC as usual issued a statement that said a rise in international oil prices and depreciation in rupee have necessitated a ₹1.40 per litre increase in the price of petrol. Again, the hike does not include local sales tax or VAT and so the real increase in the rate for consumers will be higher than ₹1.40 per litre.

Following are the revised pricing of petrol at Indian Oil Corporation petrol pumps in four metros with effect from March 1, 2013. By the way, rates at the pumps of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) vary by a few paise.

City Current Price ₹ Revised Price ₹ Increase ₹
Delhi 69.06 70.74 1.68
Kolkata 76.59 78.34 1.75
Mumbai 75.89 77.66 1.77
Chennai 72.17 73.95 1.78

While bulk consumers like Railways have to pay almost a rupee more per litre for the Diesel due to the hike, the price of cooking gas (LPG) has come down by Rs 37.50 per gas cylinder that consumers buy beyond their quota.

I came across the following Counter Point cartoons by Subhani in Deccan Chronicle:

 Counter Point - Diesel prices to be hiked  Counter Point - Petrol price hike and cut  Counter Point - Oil Clock

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I visited Manoj Kureel’s Facebook page, and impressed by the creations of this young cartoonist I give below three examples of his work on the subject of fuel price hike:

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Snakeyyyy Petrol
Snakeyyyy Petrol (Cartoon: Manoj Kureel)

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Petrol robbers
The latest modus operandi to rob the public! (Cartoon: Manoj Kureel)

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Give and Take
Give and Take (Cartoon: Manoj Kureel)

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