oppn parties Tame The Oil Price Demon Fast

News Snippets

  • Government planning a loan mela to cover 400 districts in two phases
  • PM Modi says Kashmiris need a hug from all Indians
  • NPA tag will not be put on any MSME till March 20
  • Government likely to announce another economic stimulus package today ahead of the GST Council meet in Goa
  • Air Marshall RKS Bhadauria, slated to retire just a few days from now, to be the next chief of IAF
  • PM Modi slams politicians from his own party who are making irresponsible statements on the Ayodhya case and tells them to wait for the Supreme Court order
  • Telecom panel says resident welfare associations (RWA) cannot give monopoly access to any one service provider and infrastructure in public spaces and residential complexes will have to be shared by all
  • Mamata Banerjee meets Amit Shah, tells him there is no need for an NRC in Bengal
  • After 14 days, there is no hope left for reviving Vikram, the moon lander
  • CBI teams search for elusive Rajeev Kumar
  • Union minister Babul Supriyo assaulted at Jadavpur University
  • West Bengal governor's convoy not allowed to enter Jadavpur University following a blockade by Left students' union
  • ABVP supporters create ruckus at Jadavpur University in Kolkata
  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
Government announces cuts in corporate income tax, stock markets welcome the decision with a massive jump
oppn parties
Tame The Oil Price Demon Fast

By Ashwini Agarwal

The spiraling price of petrol and diesel has left the government worried and the public angry while providing ammunition to the opposition to fire more salvos at the NDA government. It is definitely a matter of concern that prices of fuel have been raised everyday for the last 10 days in the free pricing regime. The oil companies have no alternative as they have a set formula and if price increases in the global market, it is reflected in India. But the government definitely has many alternatives.

Since the price has increased nearly Rs 10 per litre from the level it was till as recently as September 2017, the time has come to take a hard look at the duties and taxes imposed on crude and petroleum products. For the last couple of days, the government is saying that it is holding meetings to work out formulas to ease the pain both in the short term and a more permanent solution for future. But it has to hurry and come out with a solution sooner rather than later. In doing so, it should not take the regressive step of controlled pricing.

It has to cut import levies, as suggested by private players and it has to reduce excise duty. It has also got to impress upon the state government to reduce VAT. Finally, it has also got to tell the oil companies to reduce their profit levels, say by just half a percentage point. For, with OPEC and other oil producers showing no inclination to work towards a stable price regime, oil prices are likely to balloon to $ 85-90 per barrel (from $ 79.5 now) in the next 6-12 months. The government must employ a set formula that will offset increase in global prices by corresponding, and automatic, cut in import duty and excise. Any further increase in price of petrol and diesel will bring about spiraling inflation and strife. Already, unions of bus and truck operators have given notice of a strike if prices continue to rise.