Rise up against Consecutive Petrol-Diesel Price Hikes

16 May 2015
The second consecutive hike in petrol and diesel prices effectively utilizing the permission Modi government has granted to oil companies for fortnightly revision of fuel prices at their will is an assault and challenge against the people of India. The present increase of Rs.3.13 a litre for petrol and Rs.2.71 for diesel with effect from May16, 2015, on the top of a hike in petrol price by Rs. 3.96 per litre and diesel price by Rs. 2.37 per litre with effect from May 1, 2015 is ample proof of the anti-people essence of the Modi regime. Following the complete abolition of administered price mechanism (APM) in respect of petroleum and diesel prices by Modi regime, the interests of corporate oil companies including that of Reliance and Essar have been the guiding factor behind the determination of the market prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas, etc. Obviously, arguments like depreciation in the exchange value of rupee vis-à-vis the dollar, increase in global crude oil prices, etc., are mere lame excuses for corporate manipulation.

For instance, when rupee-dollar exchange rate was around Rs.62=$1 and international crude oil price was $ 84.47 per barrel in January, 2011, the price of diesel in Delhi was Rs. 37.75 and that of petrol Rs. 58. 37. Today the price of crude oil, despite the recent increases, is only $ 64.88 a barrel, while exchange rate is more or less the same as in 2011. So there is no economic justification for this unprecedented hike in fuel prices. The only reason behind this unwarranted hike is the abolition of APM in petrol and diesel prices and unfettered freedom given to corporate oil companies with the ascendancy of Modi regime.

With the present hikes, price of petrol in Delhi will be Rs. 66.29 while diesel will cost Rs.52.28 a litre. Thus, the price of petrol has gone up by Rs. 7 and that of diesel by Rs. 5 a litre within a span two weeks! This is quite unprecedented. Today the price of aviation fuel, which is mainly borne by the upper income people is much less than petrol prices. These consecutive anti-people hikes that further enrich the corporate class resulting in an across-the-board rise in the prices of all commodities including food and that of essential services leading to a sudden fall in the purchasing power of workers, peasants, and all sections of the oppressed and toiling people should be resisted forthwith at any cost.

CPI (ML) Red Star appeals to the workers, peasants and all toiling people to build up consistent resistance and rally round with all democratic forces and like-minded sections against this anti-people and hence anti-national act of the Modi regime.

K N Ramachandran

General Secretary

CPI (ML) Red Star

May 16, 2015

New Delhi
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The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.