Present dangers orissa post gasbuddy login


Fuel prices are skyrocketing. Data suggest that the price of petrol touched the highest in 16 years — Rs 76.06 per litre in Delhi — this month. The last such high was recorded in September 14, 2013. Diesel prices, too, have reached their highest in the same period. Petrol and diesel are dearer in India than in any country in its neighbourhood.

After holding fuel price hikes for a while until the heat and dust of Karnataka elections settled, fuel prices have been allowed to spiral without any control. Conveniently for the government, global crude prices are also rising at this stage. The price per barrel has reached $80, the highest since November 2014.

Sadly, when global prices were constantly dipping, the Central government had refused to pass on the benefits of lower prices to people citing that oil companies needed to recover earlier losses. If prices were allowed to freely escalate according to global rates, consumers would have got the chance to benefit by the savings when prices fell, and be prepared to face it when prices rose. But instead of passing on the profits, the Modi government took the side of oil companies. When it comes to passing on the bad news, the government is happily ready every single time, with global price comparisons and data. Moderation of fuel prices is only happening when it benefits the companies and not the consumer.

The hike in fuel prices is directly linked to the prices of other commodities in the market; from essentials like food and medicines to consumer goods, construction costs and everything in between. With the implementation of GST, the room that state governments had with cutting excise duty to provide relief to the masses has also shrunk. Reports had suggested that bringing petroleum products under the purview of GST would have greatly benefited the consumer and brought down prices. But the Modi government has been extremely reluctant to do so.

A recent report has also suggested that the government is not on track to meet its 2022 target for building alternative energy capacity. With environment concerns getting serious, India’s commitment to cleaner sources of energy should be forthcoming. But that does not seem to be happening. India is still a long way from developing and adopting renewable energy on a large scale to meet its needs.

With the Modi government’s focus diverting from each state election to the other, and currently shifting to the forthcoming general elections in early 2019, commitment to bigger issues has taken a beating. The PM is already on election mode and is now seen more as a party campaigner than the chief executive of the nation working on plans to change the situation on ground. The current situation in the country appears bleak as little has happened on the employment generation front. Manufacturing has not looked up, the banking sector is in a shambles with seemingly insurmountable burden of non-performing assets and there is no sign of any development in farming or social sector. If fuel prices are allowed to spiral out of control, the country is bound to see further deterioration in its socio-economic position.

The government today is busy with compulsions, seeking ways to stay in power. With the next general elections close at hand and more state elections approaching, the BJP would be intent on directing its energies at electoral gains. That is a real cause for worry. The Modi government needs to realise that people would judge them on how they deliver now every single day instead of political rhetoric at the end. And in the present situation, the country needs a committed government focused on the clear and present dangers.