The last that the fuel prices in India seemed normal and well within the reach of the common man on whom falls its despicable burden, probably it was some other age. Probably it was a time period before the social media age where one was only exposed to trolling and harassment in the real life and not in some virtual world contrived of reality.
Though, the only thing that can be said for real where the fuel prices of diesel and petrol are concerned is that these are harsh times in India. As it is, life in the post-COVID world, even as the pandemic is far from over (regions like Maharashtra, Kerala, among others still grappling with Coronavirus) is tough. The jobs are at an all-time high and the cost of living is rising swiftly.
How can the common man be coaxed to bear the rising fuel prices is something few have an idea about but everybody has lodged a complaint against, and perhaps rightly so.
In all, the rising fuel prices- emphasized by the Gasoline at an all-time high of Rs 97.6/ per litre in Mumbai, diesel at Rs 88.6/ per litre- are clearly threatening India’s road to economic recovery.
What mustn’t be forgotten is that India is clearly the third-biggest buyer of oil in the world. Furthermore, what only amplifies the precarious situation the country finds itself in is the fact that the higher prices are set to inflate the import bill. And just what does this course of action lead to?
Well, experts suggest it will eventually cause the rupee to weaken in its standing.
Surely, who wants such a scenario?
Something must be done toward checking the high local taxes on the retail fuel. The rising prices, furthermore, threaten the overall spending the country wishes to make toward the economy. The math is simple and the situation amply clear: the elevated fuel prices push the core inflation higher.
Where does the country go now in the direction of spending on the economy?
Here’s what a recent report published on Live Mint had to say on the matter where subject expert Priyanka Kishore, Chief India and South-east Asia economist, Oxford Economics, Singapore offered the following views:
“Persistently higher prices could lead to a generalized inflationary environment, making it difficult for the RBI to hold on to its growth commitment.”
Ms. Kishore further added, “Rising fuel taxes, alongside the pick-up in global oil prices, could threaten India’s recovery.”
Now what does RBI Governor Shri Shaktikanta Das has to offer on a pressing issue that the country must address immediately?
“Enabling a calibrated unwinding of high indirect taxes on petrol and diesel – in a co-ordinated manner by centre and states – are critical to contain the further build-up of cost-pressures in the economy!”
To conclude, the faster India were to find a solution toward its constantly burgeoning fuel prices, the better it is for the overall economic health of the country. But the only question is- are those in command with initiating change really listening, do they have the empathy to understand the everyday problems of the common man on the street?