Centre "Clueless" As Fuel Prices Rise, Says P Chidambaram

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Centre "Clueless" As Fuel Prices Rise, Says P Chidambaram

"So, why are Petrol/Diesel prices higher today than they were in May 2014?" he asked.

Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, slammed the Modi government over the steep increase in fuel prices and said it has become clueless and floundering and is living off an oil bonanza. In Kolkata, it retailed at Rs 76.78, in Mumbai at Rs 81.93 and in Chennai at Rs 76.85.

Prices of petrol and diesel are now changed on a daily basis unlike the previous norm of fortnightly revision of prices. There have been talks about bringing petrol and diesel under GST for it may benefit people. Petrol price has hit a four-year high of Rs 73.83 a litre, while diesel rates touched an all-time high of Rs 64.69 in the national capital on rising worldwide oil rates. Prices of diesel and petrol have been on the rise consistently since the Narendra Modi-led government introduced dynamic pricing for fuel in June a year ago. Minus the oil bonanza, the BJP government is clueless and floundering.

Petrol prices in the city are fast heading towards Rs 80 per litre. The sudden spurt in crude oil prices is due to geopolitical tensions involving Syria, speculations and trade war ushered by US.

The oil prices in India have been rising for last few weeks. "Instead it should start coming down", Sanjiv Bhasin, executive vice president, markets at IILF told The Hindu. Diesel cost Rs 65.31 in Delhi, while it cost Rs 68.01 in Kolkata, Rs 69.54 in Mumbai, and at Rs 68.9 in Chennai. Following decrease in value of Pakistani rupee against the United States dollar in the local market and an increase in crude oil prices in the global market, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority is expected to raise the petroleum products prices by Rs5 per litre for the month of May. This allowed government to end subsidy on petrol and made consumers pay for market-linked prices. We voluntarily can't reduce the prices. Higher fuel prices are pushing up inflation at a time when prices of food items such as pulses have come down.

However, by August 27, 2017, the price of petrol zoomed to Rs 73.06 and diesel to Rs 61.88 indicating an increase of Rs 3.88 for petrol and Rs 1.58 for diesel. Petrol was up at Rs 74.08 a litre.

Shares of Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) closed up 1.39 per cent at ₹ 160.55. "It is because of the "Tax the Consumer" policy of the BJP government", he said.