November 22, 2021 - 11:47 am

Fall In Fuel Prices

After long much-awaited time, the petrol and diesel prices have reduced drastically across all states on the day of Diwali festival, providing a major relief to the common man amid the festival time. As the spiralling prices crossed the psychological barrier of hundred rupees per litre, a figure unthinkable till not so long ago, the huge impact on earnings and the rise in prices of essential items were compounded over the daily hike during the past several months.

                            The centre's announcement has against the backdrop of business and consumers complaining about a rise in commodity prices and input costs. The relentless increase in fuel prices have been severely criticized by opposition parties as well. The cascade effect on household budgets has been too much to bear for far too many. Whatever prompted the announcement, be it the setback in the October 30 bypolls where price rise has emerged as a key issue or as a sop going into the the crucial Assembly elections next year there has been undue delay.

                            Prior to the cut, the government's collections from levy of excise duty on petroleum products had risen 33% between April and September 2021 compared to last year and was 79% more than pre-COVID levels. To give a further fillip to the economy, the Government of India has decided to significantly reduce the excise duty on diesel and petrol. The massive reduction in excise on diesel will too ptropel a boost to the farmers during the upcoming Rabi season.

                            The country's dependence on energy import does make it vulnerable to volatility in the international market. Reducing the import bill by shifting to renewables is a long-term project; high Central and state taxation is a issue at hand. The inclusions of fuel under GST, is still a matter of debate but experts opinion that soon it will come as relief. At last, there is some relief to consumers which they should welcome it as a sign of victory eventually.