Business

Fuel price hikes will hurt general public

The federal government drew the ire of its political rivals on Saturday after it raised the price of petrol by Rs10.49 per litre and that of high speed diesel HSD by Rs12.44 per litre.

The new price of kerosene is Rs110.26 per litre and that of LDO is Rs108.35 per litre.

The government had absorbed the pressure of increasing international rates and provided maximum relief to consumers by keeping the petroleum levy and sales tax to a minimum, the Finance Division said.

Therefore, prices worked out by Ogra Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority have been approved, it added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the government had raised the price of petrol by Rs4 per litre at the start of the month as well.

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We import all of the edible oil. Its price has gone up from $500 to $1200 and $1300. This is extraordinary inflation that has taken place in the entire world.

The interior minister attributed the price increases in Pakistan to higher prices in the international markets.

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States have also been urged to reduce VAT on petrol & diesel to give relief to consumers.

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After seven straight days of increase, fuel prices remained constant on Wednesday. On November 3, the pricing remained unchanged. On the day, the price of diesel remained steady at Rs 98.42 per litre.

He said that the current levels of oil and gas prices are too high.

Mr Puri noted that 20 per cent of the country’s import bill is from these items. The high prices of oil has impact on the economies, leading to surge in inflation and affecting the logistics cost.

He underlined that prices have to be predictable, dependable and stable.

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The fuel price hike has slowly started pinching pockets of Shillong residents.

The worst affected are the local taxis operators who are now angry that the state government isn’t doing anything about the rise in fuel prices.

They have now urged the Meghalaya government to take stock of the situation which has badly affected the public at large.

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One such person is Billal Hossain, whose livelihood is dependent on kerosene.

“Will anyone come to my stall if I charge Tk 10 from today? Do the government ever think of low-income people like us?

If the price of the cup of tea that the ordinary citizens enjoy by the roadside does not go up, the prices of rice and other crops will definitely surge.

And transporting the rice and other produce from the farms to the markets will become costlier: the trucks and covered vans used to haul goods run on diesel.

About 72 percent of the 40 lakh tonnes of diesel consumed annually is by the transport sector.

The three-pronged price hike of fuel will unreservedly fan the flames of inflation.

In September, which is the latest available data, inflation rose for the third consecutive month to 5.59 percent.

Against the backdrop, the hike in the prices of kerosene and diesel will break the lower-income people.

“We have instances of farmers getting cash subsidy,” he said, citing the Tk 800 farmers got in 2009-10.

Just as they were recovering the losses, the government raised the toll for the two biggest bridges.

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