Petrol prices in Delhi and Kolkata crossed Rs. 100 a litre on Wednesday, making it a century in all four top metros in the country.
28-year-old Shadan, a cloth trader in Delhi, earns nearly Rs. 25,000 every month and has a wife and a 9-month-old at home. The rising fuel prices are a burden on many like him.
“I travel for 80-90 km every day on my bike. I have just got a refill done for Rs. 270. Earlier, it would last three days. But now, I have to come for a refill within 24 hours. If petrol prices are rising every day, then our earning should also increase. But six months ago too, I was selling cloth at Rs. 50 and today as well, I am selling it at Rs. 50. But my expenses keep increasing. I have a wife and a small child whose expenses alone are significant,” Shadan said.
Petrol pump associations across Kolkata protested on Wednesday. There were no fuel sales at 530 petrol pumps from 7 to 7:30 pm in Kolkata and Howrah.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “If petrol and diesel prices keep going up like this, the kitchens in our homes will catch fire. Rs 3.71 lakh crore revenue has been earned by the Centre from taxes that it took from people. Don’t you think the Narendra Modi government is cutting the pockets of people and filling its own?”
On Wednesday, the Congress too launched its 10-day long nationwide agitation against inflation as part of which protests were held in Bengaluru against the rising fuel prices.
Petrol prices have risen about 20 per cent since January 1. It was Rs. 83-84 in the national capital.
Of the Rs 100.21 per litre in Delhi, as much as 55 per cent of the retail selling price of petrol is made up of taxes (Rs 32.90 a litre excise duty collected by the central government and Rs. 22.80 VAT levied by the state government).