Petrol prices: Different views from different folks
The Congress and other opposition parties on Monday observed Bharat Bandh against the rising fuel prices. "In 2014, the price of crude oil in international markets was $110 per barrel. In Mumbai, petrol was Rs. 80 and diesel was Rs. 64 per litre. Today, the price of crude oil is $80. But petrol is Rs. 88.12 and diesel is Rs. 77.32 per litre! This is a systematic loot of the people of India," said the Congress.
On its part, the BJP has said that the price rise has been much lower in percentage terms under the NDA regime than what was the case during the UPA era.
However, within the saffron party, many feel that petrol should be brought under GST. "The PM should tell the Finance Ministry to look at the macroeconomic situation and make a way in which petrol should not be priced more than Rs. 40," Subramanian Swamy said.
"Bringing fuel under GST (peak rate of 28%) would reduce the price of 1 litre of petrol (Mumbai) from Rs 85.27 to Rs 53.15, a massive 38% reduction," noted columnist Anand Ranganathan.
As for the strike turning violent in some places, Union Minister Ravishankar Prasad asked, "Everyone has a right to protest but what is happening today? Petrol pumps and buses being set ablaze, putting to risk lives. A child died after an ambulance was stuck in the protests in Bihar's Jehanabad. Who is responsible?"