Rise In Fuel Prices A ‘Dharm Sankat’ Situation For Assam?

Rise In Fuel Prices A ‘Dharm Sankat’ Situation For Assam?

When there was a sudden hike in fuel prices across the country in February this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said she is in a Dharamsankat situation due to rising petrol and diesel prices.

She was quoted in a leading daily in this connection: "…is a very vexatious issue and the issue on which no answer except for reducing the price will convince anyone".

On Sunday, Petrol has nearly touched Rs 100 mark in Assam with petrol priced at Rs 95.27 as a result of a Rs 5.07 per litre hike in its price since the beginning of June this year.

There has also been a hike in the price of diesel by Rs 3.45 at Rs. 88.68. As of June 1, it was Rs 85.23.

The state is currently under a 12-hour curfew barring essential services and the petrol price in Guwahati is on the verge to hit a century.

The petrol price has increased by 71 paise within four days in the month of July.

The soaring hike in fuel prices has triggered a chaotic situation not just in the state but across the country. The surge recorded today was the 34th hike in fuel prices since May 4.

Keeping in view of the second wave of the Covid-19 that has been severely affecting the lives of millions in the country, the prices of petrol and diesel have increased by almost 10% in the last two months. Out of the last 61 days, oil prices have increased on 32 days between May and June.

Last month, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday blamed a surge in global crude oil prices for the rising domestic prices of petrol and diesel.

"The prices of petroleum products have gone up. The main reason is that the price of crude oil has gone over USD 70 (per barrel) in the international market. This negatively impacts consumers here, as India imports 80 per cent of its oil requirement," he was quoted as saying in a leading daily.

Notably, fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges.

Sikkim for instance has become the first northeastern state to cross the Rs 100 mark. Petrol in Sikkim capital Gangtok is priced at Rs 100.15 per litre, diesel is being sold at Rs 91.55 per litre. 

 Rajasthan levies the highest value-added tax (VAT) on petrol in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh. In fact diesel price on Sunday crossed Rs 100 a litre mark in some places in Madhya Pradesh.

Further, in the national capital, petrol is now priced at for Rs 99.51 a litre and diesel is priced at Rs 89.36 per litre.

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