In the heat of the moment, all those who gave up their LPG subsidy are slapping their forehead, regretting. There is a growing feeling of frustration that they are paying a very high price, especially the middle class, which pays for the needs of the poor and largesse’s of the rich.
But what is really a slap on the face is the statistics which said that the Jan retail inflation at 4.06% was at a 16-month low. Really? We are all paying so much more for every necessity of life, much more than what we did 16-months ago. Yes, the price of vegetables and fruits have come down but that of everything else is pretty much north-ward bound and that too at super-fast speed.
For the second time in a short span of 10-days, yesterday, the price of non-subsidized LPG was hiked once again. On Feb 4th, the price hike was Rs.25/LPG cylinder and yesterday, it was Rs.50. So, we are now effectively paying Rs.75 more.
That’s not all. The price of fuel is simply on a wild run; it is going up relentlessly and no one is even uttering a word. Paying almost Rs.100/litre for filling up your tank; surely this is going to pinch the pockets of every household. Before 2014, if one recollects, even a 25 paise price hike would cause public outrage and today, its almost like no one cares.
It was the BJP which was the vociferous opposition then, protesting against price hikes, making the Govt then roll-back the fuel price hikes. Currently, we all know that two-third of the fuel price is actually tax. This money earned on tax is being used by the Govt to recover from the Covid-hit losses. This means that if the Opposition does protest, there are chances of bringing the price down. But the mystery here is – we don’t know who the opposition is at all? And if there is an opposition, how come they are mute? How come they do not want to use this, like the BJP did, to make a political point which will actually strike the right cord with the people?
At a time when people have lost jobs and incomes, inflation has truly soared. With fuel and LPG getting costlier, that too when people have just about started spending, the drawing back of the loosened purse strings will soon be evident.
Well, for us the middle class, the battle has only just begun as we will be paying a price for everything that goes wrong and even for that which goes right. And pay more is what we will be doing in the coming days.