The NDA government is battling a fuel crisis ahead of state elections this year and general elections in 2019. But the regime doesn't have a lot of room to manoeuvre, as taxing fuels is an easy way to rake in revenue. Any failure to rein in rising petrol and diesel prices could attract voter ire. The Narendra Modi-led regime knows this.
Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has stated that the Centre will work out a 'solution' to check rising prices. New Delhi is expected to announce a solution this week. It has to, because both businesses and the middle classes are complaining.
Petrol sold at Rs 84.99 on 23 May, or Rs 2.51 more than 13 May’s price. Diesel retailed at Rs 72.76 on Wednesday, or Rs 2.56 more than 13 May’s price. Petrol is costlier by some Rs 7.12 since the beginning of the year, while diesel is costlier by some Rs 9.49.
These charts show how petrol and diesel prices moved during the UPA's and the NDA's rule.
The Narendra Modi-led government cut the excise duty on fuels by Rs 2 a litre last October. But that move followed nine hikes to the tax between November 2014 and January 2016, to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, reported the PTI.
As usual, an Amul advertisement captured the pain the masses are experiencing.
— Amul.coop (@Amul_Coop) May 23, 2018
Incidentally, the NDA stormed to power in 2014 after rising fuel prices, among other reasons, brought down the previous Congress-led UPA regime. In May 2012, the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government approved the steepest ever hike in petrol prices. Modi was chief minister of Gujarat back then.
Updated Date: May 23, 2018 16:43 PM