Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli has said that free COVID-19 vaccines provided by the Prime Minister-led central government have led to the hike in fuel prices.
"Fuel prices aren't high but include the tax levied. You must've taken a free vaccine, where will the money come from? You haven't paid the money, this is how it was collected," news agency ANI quoted Teli as saying.
Reportedly, he also made a comparison between branded packaged water and petrol. “If you want to drink Himalayan water, then you have to pay Rs 100 for one bottle. When crude oil price will rise in the international market then petrol, diesel prices will automatically hike," he said.
Meanwhile, Twitter users brutally trolled Teli for his comment.
"I paid the money for vaccine. I am paying for fuel as well. So? Not everyone was vaccinated free of cost. Anyway, it's the lame argument to begin with. Soaring fuel prices are badly hitting common people. Work towards reducing it than giving totally absurd explanations..," a Twitter user said.
"Polio and other vaccines have always been free in this country, no one made a song and dance about it," said another Twitter user.
Check out a few Twitter reactions below:
For the unversed, diesel price on Monday breached the Rs 100-a-litre mark in Kerala and Karnataka as fuel prices were hiked yet again to align domestic rates with firming international oil prices.
Petrol price was hiked by 30 paise per litre and diesel by 35 paise a litre, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
The seventh straight day of price hike pushed fuel rates to a new record high.
The price of petrol in Delhi rose to its highest-ever level of Rs 104.44 a litre and Rs 110.41 per litre in Mumbai, the notification showed.
In Mumbai, diesel now comes for Rs 101.03 a litre; while in Delhi, it costs Rs 93.17.
While petrol price in most of the country is already above Rs 100-a-litre mark, diesel rates have crossed that level in several states, with Kerala and Karnataka being the latest ones.
Diesel costs Rs 100.15 a litre in Thiruvananthapuram.
Some cities in Karnataka including Shimoga and Davanagere also saw those levels on Monday. In Bengaluru however, diesel comes for Rs 98.85 per litre.
Besides Kerala and Karnataka, diesel has crossed the Rs 100-a-litre mark in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Leh.
Prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes.
Shedding the modest price change policy, state-owned fuel retailers have since October 6 started passing on the larger incidence of cost to consumers.
For six days in a row, the price of petrol has been hiked by 30 paise a litre and diesel by 35 paise, the biggest rally in rates. Prior to that, petrol price was increased by 25 paise and diesel by 30 paise.
(With PTI inputs)
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