oppn parties Tame The Oil Price Demon Fast

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  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
  • India has moved to the 40th spot in the innovation index, up 6 spots from last year
  • DGGI has alleged that top insurance companies, banks and NBFCs has committed a fraud of Rs 800cr by claiming input tax credit without underlying supplies
  • The Centre will borrow Rs 10000cr less than planned earlier due to good revenue collections
  • At $23.9bn, India's current account deficit widened to 2.8% in Q1, the worst in four years
  • Stocks continue to flounder on Thursday: Sensex sheds 188 points to 56409 and Nifty 40 points to 16818
  • The 36th National Games were declared open on Thusrday by PM Modi in front of a record crowd in Motera near Ahmedabad
  • Jasprit Bumrah most likely to miss T20 World Cup due to recurrence of back injury
  • PFI's political wing, the SDPI is on EC radar and action will follow soon if discrepancies are detected
  • Ashok Gehlot to meet Sonia Gandhi today, says all issues will be sorted out soon
  • Referring to the PFI ban, most Muslim organizations ask the government to take similar action against right wings organizations like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and the like
In a landmark order, Supreme Court rules that all women, married or unmarried, are entitled to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy as per the MTP Act
oppn parties
Tame The Oil Price Demon Fast

By Ashwini Agarwal
First publised on 2018-05-25 08:16:51

The spiraling price of petrol and diesel has left the government worried and the public angry while providing ammunition to the opposition to fire more salvos at the NDA government. It is definitely a matter of concern that prices of fuel have been raised everyday for the last 10 days in the free pricing regime. The oil companies have no alternative as they have a set formula and if price increases in the global market, it is reflected in India. But the government definitely has many alternatives.

Since the price has increased nearly Rs 10 per litre from the level it was till as recently as September 2017, the time has come to take a hard look at the duties and taxes imposed on crude and petroleum products. For the last couple of days, the government is saying that it is holding meetings to work out formulas to ease the pain both in the short term and a more permanent solution for future. But it has to hurry and come out with a solution sooner rather than later. In doing so, it should not take the regressive step of controlled pricing.

It has to cut import levies, as suggested by private players and it has to reduce excise duty. It has also got to impress upon the state government to reduce VAT. Finally, it has also got to tell the oil companies to reduce their profit levels, say by just half a percentage point. For, with OPEC and other oil producers showing no inclination to work towards a stable price regime, oil prices are likely to balloon to $ 85-90 per barrel (from $ 79.5 now) in the next 6-12 months. The government must employ a set formula that will offset increase in global prices by corresponding, and automatic, cut in import duty and excise. Any further increase in price of petrol and diesel will bring about spiraling inflation and strife. Already, unions of bus and truck operators have given notice of a strike if prices continue to rise.