Earlier in February, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had taken a jibe at his own party, noting that fuel prices in neighbouring Nepal and Sri Lanka were far lower than that in India. "Petrol Rs 93 in Ram's India, Rs 53 in Sita's Nepal, Rs 51 in Ravan's Lanka," he had written at the beginning of the month. Now, as fuel prices continue to rise, ordinary Indians appear to be realising this for themselves.
With petrol prices crossing the Rs. 100 mark in some areas, irate Indians are now eyeing the lower prices offered by Nepal. And while some restrict themselves to lamenting about the fact that they don't live close to the border, others have turned to smuggling fuel.
According to reports, people in Bihar's Araria and Kishanganj have now begun crossing the border, avoiding major thoroughfares and attempting to smuggle petrol. Reportedly, several such people have been caught by officials.
According to a LiveHindustan report, petrol is presently available for around Rs. 70. Across the border in Bihar's Araria, it costs over Rs. 93. What has Indians further incensed is the fact that Nepal buys fuel from India. As per multiple reports, Nepal imports both petrol and diesel. Alongside, the Nepal Oil Corporation also obtains kerosene, aviation fuel and LPG from the Indian Oil Corporation.
While a section of social media users are lamenting about the rising fuel prices, others are wondering whether it is too late to move to Nepal, or at least set up residence close to the border.
Petrol and diesel prices maintained its northward rally on Friday, the eleventh consecutive day when its retail prices rose across the country, with the global oil market remaining stable but firm.
Accordingly, oil marketing companies raised the pump price of petrol by 31 paise and diesel by another 33 paise per litre in Delhi. With this increase, petrol is now priced at Rs 90.19 a litre and diesel Rs 80.60 a litre in the national capital.
At this price in Delhi, petrol has breached Rs 90 a litre-mark across all metros and around all major cities of the country. In fact, the retail price of petrol has crossed Rs 100 a litre-mark in several cities in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Thes states also have one of the highest levels of local levies on petroleum products in the country.
(With inputs from agencies)