Price hike in Petrol
IFP Editorial: Somebody had to raise the issue of price hike in petrol and diesel as it is connected with transportation costs of essential items and everything under the sun. And it is what the Congress has been doing as an opposition party and Manipur Congress happened to be a part of it.
AS a part of an AICC programme, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee had joined the Indian National Congress’s nationwide protest against hike in prices of petrol and diesel prices on Friday. As most of the commercial vehicles are run by diesel, prices of essential commodities had soared under high transportation charges as a result of fuel price hike. MPCC members, including its president Govindas Konthoujam, leader of Congress Legislature Party Okram Ibobi Singh, member of Congress Working Committee Gaikhangam and other members of MPCC staged a sit in protest at the Congress Bhavan, Imphal. It was nothing but a routine exercise of opposition responsibility, as everybody seems busy with the Covid 19 pandemic and its effects. The All Indian Congress Committee had decided to hold a nationwide symbolic protest in front of petrol pumps across the country over the unprecedented rise in the prices of petrol and diesel. In Imphal, amid the second wave of the pandemic, petrol price nears the century mark. As most of the commercial vehicles are run by diesel, prices of essential commodities have soared under high transportation charges and it is almost double the price before. The current price of petrol in Imphal is Rs 99.57 per litre, diesel Rs 90.25 litre and Rs 732 per 14.2 for cooking gas. The price of petrol and diesel are recorded to be the highest in the state so far. In the last one month, the prices of petrol and diesel were recorded at Rs 94.4 and Rs 84.44 per litre respectively. According to official data, current Imphal fuel price is taken from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Indian Oil Corporation Limited.
We understand, Manipur is not the only state facing such a steep price hike in petrol and diesel and it is everywhere across the nation. All over India, the general public is feeling the pinch of scarcity of essential items due to the lockdown and the gradual rise in the price of petroleum products.
Somebody had to raise the issue of price hike in petrol and diesel as it is connected with transportation costs of essential items and everything under the sun. And it is what the Congress has been doing as an opposition party and Manipur Congress happened to be a part of it. The rising expenses relating to the pandemic is not in any way linked to the rise in the hike of petrol or diesel prices. Surging international oil rates and exorbitant domestic tax structure are two key reasons for high rates of petrol and diesel in pumps. Petrol, which has crossed the Rs 100 per litre mark in several cities, is also on an all-time high at Rs 99.71 a litre in Mumbai.
We are particularly concerned with the response of the state government or for that matter the state Chief Minister as regards the protest over the price hike. The Chief Minister said that the Modi government is doing so much in terms of providing free rice and free vaccines for the general public besides several other welfare programs and that there is a price for that as free aid does not fall from the sky like rain. This is so unfortunate considering his commitment. One can say anything to justify the price hike, but the Covid freebies are not certainly an excuse.