10 THINGS

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VIJAY SIMHA’s

Illustration: Sudeep Chaudhuri

Nasty about Petrol Prices

1. THE LACK OF PROTESTS
Until even 15 years ago, a passive acceptance of a price hike was not on. Now, there’s barely a noise.

2. THE REGULARITY
Seven hikes in six months. What are they trying to make up for?

3. THE EXCISE DUTY 
The first of the wretched taxes on petrol in India. Rs. 14.35 and a trifle more each litre.

4. THE VAT 
The second of the taxes. At least Rs. 5.50 to a litre.

5. THE CUSTOMS DUTY 
There’s a crude oil customs duty and a petrol customs duty. Together, they are about Rs. 3 a litre.

6. THE TRANSPORT CHARGE 
A neat Rs. 6 a litre, at last count. That’s what the government charges to get the stuff to petrol pumps.

7. THE SPILLOVER EFFECT 
It affects all costs — transport, food, commodities, goods, entertainment, and medicine.

8. THE EROSION IN SAVINGS
Savings, a backbone of the economy, take a silent but critical hit. Slowly, they lessen and fade.

9. THE FREEZE IN EARNINGS 
Salaries and wages rarely rise to match hikes. At the end of a year, you are where you were a year ago.

10. THE IRRATIONALITY
On 19 January, you could buy gas at Rs. 40.95 a litre in New York. Here, it’s made out like we need to save the oil companies.

& 10 THINGS PLEASANT ABOUT THEM

1. The education tax. A worthy cess
2.
 The basic price. Still around Rs. 30
3.
 Makes us search for alternatives
4.
 Forces the fitness options. Walk, cycle
5. Teaches us to do with less
6. Is in tune with global trends
7. We’re still not the worst. Rs. 92.40 in the UK, Rs. 117.36 in Turkey
8. Compels friendships. Myanmar, Venezuela
9. Boosts green tech sales
10. Kills fuel guzzlers

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