In the run up to the Lok Sabha election in 2014, Baba Ramdev regularly castigated the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for petrol prices being above Rs 70 per litre. In television interviews, he would ask people which government would they vote for — the UPA that gave petrol at Rs 70, or to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that promised to cut excise duties and offer it at Rs 35. On his part, Arun Jaitley, as Leader of the Opposition, used to say that petrol prices are rising due to the inefficiencies of the state-run oil companies.
But now, as on September 9, 2018, Mumbai petrol prices have not only turned volatile crossing Rs 87, but will rise further as prices of crude oil have been showing a firm trend. Moreover, the rupee has moved lower against the dollar, making petrol prices in Mumbai more expensive than before. In order to help the private sector oil companies, petrol and diesel prices are revised daily, thanks to the so called dynamic pricing system initiated by the NDA government fleecing the common man and the business sector alike. If the government reduces excise duties, fuel rates will become cheaper but the Narendra Modi government remains unmoved and both Ramdev and Jaitley are silent on this issue.
Biju Cherian Mumbai
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