Bhopal: Daily fuel price revision not boon, but a bane

Bhopal: The prices of petroleum products are changing daily after June 16, 2017. The daily revision benefits the customers if the prices changed in international market. Apparently, during the first fortnight of that month rates have dropped but it started rising after July 3. State owned fuel companies in June withdrew the 15-year old practice of revising rates every fortnight.

Ankit, student at Dental College says, “Earlier, the prices of petroleum products were uniform, for at least a certain period of time. People knew the exact price of petrol and diesel. They also knew the quantity of petrol and diesel that a particular amount of rupee will fetch. It is not the case nowadays.”

Earlier, the rates were changed on the 1st and 16th of every month. People did not worry that time as they knew that the price will remain at least for a fortnight. If the prices of petroleum products are hiked or slashed, people used to know the exact amount. They had a sigh of relief if the petroleum prices were cut. They used to rush to petrol pump if there was an increase in the prices to fill up their tanks, he said.

Suraj, worker at a petrol pump says, “People are in dark about the petrol prices nowadays. Everyday there is a marginal increase of prices, say about 10-15 paise and there is hardly any cut in the rates. Due to daily revision of prices, people are not aware of change in the prices.”

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said that the petroleum product should be brought under the ambit of GST. The rising prices of petroleum products in the country are because of the hurricane in the US. He also backed the daily revision of prices of petroleum product by saying that the benefits of the drop in petroleum prices should be given to the customers.

However, President of Madhya Pradesh Petroleum Dealers Association, Ajay Singh says, “Even if there is a slight increase or decrease in the price of petroleum products, it is the right of the people to know the reason behind it. People do not realize that even a slight increase in the price of petroleum products is affecting their pockets.” There is no transparency to decide the prices of petroleum products, he added.

In Madhya Pradesh, the tax levied on petroleum products is highest in the country. Reacting to this issue, Singh said that we have approached the government in this issue. People should also come forward in this regard. “If we look at the price of petrol per litre, without any taxes, it comes around 25 rupees, but the customers are purchasing it at a cost of around 75 rupees. So tax collected after selling a litre of petrol comes around 50 rupees, which means that we pay a tax of 200 per cent on petrol and diesel, Singh added.

He further adds that, “In other countries where the prices of petroleum products are high, education and other public services are subsidised. There is a reason as to why they collect so much in taxes as it can be seen clearly that they use these taxes for the benefit of their citizens. However, such is not the case in India. In India, people are paying taxes but it is not clear that these taxes are invested for the purpose of development of the nation or not.”

Singh says that petroleum products should also come under the Goods and Service Tax. If these products are kept under the high tax bracket also, than the prices of petrol will be around 55 rupees and that of diesel will be 50 rupees approximately. He says that oil Minister has also said that petroleum products should be brought under the GST. It will reduce the prices of the petroleum products, Singh added.

Satish Sahu (car owner)

The prices keep on increasing by a few paise daily. We do not see any decrease in the prices. If it rises by 3-4 paise for 3 days, then the increase is around 12 paise. However, when it reduces to just 2-3 paise and that too for a day. We are completely in dark about the price of the petrol and diesel products.

Shriram Unke (auto driver)

We fill petrol in our auto. Everyday there is a slight increase in their prices. We are running in losses because of this. Suppose, there is a hike in the petroleum products. If we ask the passenger to pay more they refuse and say that the fare from reaching the destination is less. Passengers do not realise that we are asking more because the price of petrol is more. Ultimately, it is us who have to bear the losses.

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