Rising petrol and diesel prices have shown no signs of abating after coming out of a 19-day-hibernation that was punctuated by Karnataka assembly election. The prices were hiked by the public sector oil marketing companies for a 12th consecutive day today with the government still mulling “options” to wrest northward spiral of petrol and diesel rates in the country.
In the past three days, two senior ministers of the Narendra Modi cabinet including petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan have said that the government is looking for “permanent solution” to rising petrol and diesel prices. Their statements clearly indicate that the government is in a fix over petrol and diesel prices which are rising unabated.
Interestingly, people/voters of the country have, in an online survey, suggested a three-pronged solution to fix the rising prices of petrol and diesel. In a survey conducted by citizen engagement platform, Local Circles, 78 percent of the participants said that VAT (value-added tax) on petrol and diesel should be lowered and fixed to minimise the impact of rising crude oil prices in the international market.
While 42 percent of the participants said that like excise duty imposed by the Centre, the states should also levy a fixed VAT amount (instead of a percentage of VAT) on petrol. Another 36 percent said that the rate of VAT should be lowered.