MP Petrol Prices Spike: What You Need to Know ===
Madhya Pradesh (MP) has witnessed a sharp increase in petrol prices in recent weeks. The rise has hit the common man hard, as it has made commuting, transportation, and running businesses more expensive.
This article provides an overview of the causes and implications of the petrol price hike in MP. It also discusses the response of the government, opposition parties, experts, and the public to the issue. Finally, it explores alternative fuels and policies that could mitigate the impact of the petrol price hike on the economy and ecology of MP.
Why Petrol Prices Have Increased in Madhya Pradesh
The main reason for the petrol price hike in MP is the global increase in crude oil prices, which have risen from $40 per barrel in April 2020 to $75 per barrel in July 2021. This surge is due to the recovery of demand for oil after the pandemic-induced slowdown and the production cuts by OPEC and its allies.
The Indian government, too, has increased the excise duty and VAT on petrol and diesel to shore up its revenues, which have been hit by the pandemic. As a result, the central tax on petrol has increased by Rs 23.78 per litre, and the state tax on petrol in MP has gone up by Rs 4.83 per litre. These taxes account for a significant portion of the retail price of petrol in MP, which has crossed Rs 100 per litre in some cities.
Will the Petrol Prices Continue to Rise in MP?
It is likely that the petrol prices will continue to rise in MP and other states as long as the global oil prices remain high and the government maintains the high taxes. The fluctuation in oil prices is unpredictable, as it depends on various factors such as the supply-demand balance, geopolitical tensions, environmental concerns, and technological advancements.
However, the government has some leeway to reduce the taxes on petrol and diesel if it wants to ease the burden on the consumers. The opposition parties and some experts have been demanding a cut in taxes, but the government has been non-committal on the issue. It has argued that the taxes are necessary to fund its welfare schemes and infrastructure projects.
Impact of MP Petrol Price Hike on the Common Man
The petrol price hike in MP has affected the common man in various ways. It has increased the cost of transportation, goods, and services, which has led to inflation and reduced purchasing power. It has also forced many people to curtail their travel, work, and social activities, which has affected their livelihoods and well-being.
The most affected are the poor, who cannot afford to pay the high prices of petrol and diesel. They rely on public transport, which is also becoming costlier due to the rise in fuel prices. The farmers, too, are feeling the pinch, as they need diesel to run their irrigation pumps and tractors.
The businesses, especially the small and medium ones, are also facing a tough time, as they have to bear the higher transportation and production costs. This has led to lower profitability, layoffs, and closures. The tourism industry, which is a major source of income for MP, has also been hit by the petrol price hike, as it makes travel more expensive and less attractive.
How the MP Government is Responding to Petrol Price Hike
The MP government has not yet taken any concrete measures to address the petrol price hike, apart from urging the central government to reduce the taxes. The Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that he sympathizes with the people’s problems but cannot do much as the taxes are fixed by the center.
However, the government has announced some relief measures for the transporters and the public transport corporations. It has waived the permit fee for taxis, buses, and trucks, and reduced the toll fees on highways. It has also increased the subsidy on electric vehicles and promoted the use of biofuels in the state.
Opposition Parties Criticize MP Petrol Price Hike
The opposition parties in MP, including the Congress, the BSP, and the SP, have criticized the BJP-led government for the petrol price hike and demanded a rollback of the taxes. They have accused the government of being insensitive to the people’s plight and profiting from their misery.
The Congress has organized protests and rallies across the state to highlight the issue and mobilize public opinion against the government. It has also launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #RollBackFuelTax to create awareness and pressure on the government.
What Experts Say About MP Petrol Price Hike
The experts on energy, economics, and policy have offered various opinions on the petrol price hike in MP. Some of them have argued that the taxes on petrol and diesel should be reduced to ease the burden on the consumers and boost the economy. They have cited the examples of other countries that have cut the taxes during the pandemic to support the recovery.
Others have suggested that the government should diversify the energy mix by promoting renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydro power. They have pointed out that MP has a huge potential for solar power, as it receives abundant sunlight and has vast barren land. They have also emphasized the need for energy efficiency, conservation, and demand-side management to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.
Petrol Price Hike in MP: A National Phenomenon?
The petrol price hike in MP is not an isolated event but a national phenomenon. All states in India are facing the same issue, as the retail price of petrol and diesel has crossed Rs 100 per litre in most cities. The central and state taxes on petrol and diesel are the highest in the world, accounting for more than half of the retail price.
The government, however, has not shown any inclination to reduce the taxes, as it sees them as a stable source of revenue. It has also argued that the taxes are needed to finance its ambitious infrastructure projects and social welfare schemes. The government has also pointed out that the taxes are lower than those in some developed countries such as the UK, the US, and Japan.
How MP Petrol Price Hike Affects Business and Economy
The petrol price hike in MP has a significant impact on the business and economy of the state. The rise in transportation costs has led to an increase in the prices of goods and services, which has dampened the demand and consumption. This has affected the income, employment, and growth of the businesses in MP.
The inflationary pressure caused by the petrol price hike has also affected the macroeconomic indicators such as the GDP, the fiscal deficit, and the current account deficit. It has reduced the purchasing power of the consumers and increased the cost of living. It has also created a ripple effect on other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing.
Alternatives to Petrol in MP: Are They Viable?
The petrol price hike in MP has raised the question of alternatives to petrol and diesel as the primary fuels for transportation and power generation. Some of the alternatives that are being explored or promoted in MP are biofuels, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells.
The biofuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, and bio-CNG are derived from agricultural waste, forest residue, and municipal solid waste. They are renewable, carbon-neutral, and cheaper than petrol and diesel. MP has a significant potential for biofuels, as it has large areas of agricultural and forest land. The government has also offered incentives for setting up biofuel plants in the state.
The electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by batteries and motors, and emit zero tailpipe emissions. They are becoming more affordable and efficient due to the advancements in technology and economies of scale. MP has launched an EV policy that offers incentives for the purchase, installation, and charging of EVs. It has also installed charging stations across the state and encouraged the use of EVs in public transport.
The hydrogen fuel cells are a newer technology that produces electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen, and emits only water vapor. They are still in the experimental stage, but have a high potential for clean and efficient energy generation. MP is exploring the possibility of producing hydrogen from renewable sources such as solar and wind power, and using it in fuel cells.
How MP Petrol Price Hike Compares to Other States
The petrol price hike in MP is not unique, as it is happening in other states too. However, the magnitude and impact of the hike vary from state to state, depending on the taxes, transportation, and energy policies of the respective governments.
Some states such as Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh have reduced the state taxes on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the consumers. Others such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and West Bengal have criticized the central government for the high excise duty on petrol and diesel, and demanded a cut in the taxes.
The comparison of the petrol prices in various states shows that MP is among the top five states where the petrol prices are the highest. The other states are Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. The states where the petrol prices are the lowest are Goa, Delhi, and Gujarat.
What MP Citizens Can Do to Cope with Petrol Price Hike
The MP citizens can take some measures to cope with the petrol price hike and reduce their dependence on petrol and diesel. Some of the measures are:
- Use public transport, carpool, or bike instead of driving alone.
- Plan the travel and errands efficiently to reduce the distance and frequency of trips.
- Use hybrid or electric vehicles if affordable and feasible.
- Switch to biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel if available.
- Opt for energy-efficient appliances and lighting to reduce the electricity bill.
- Harvest rainwater, use drip irrigation, and adopt other water-saving techniques to reduce the water bill.
- Compost the organic waste and recycle the plastic and metal waste to reduce the waste bill.
- Plant trees, grow vegetables, and participate in community gardening to reduce the food bill and promote sustainability.
- Support the campaigns and