Fuel price hike fuels anger in aam admi
Srinagar, Jun 26: The sharp hike in fuel prices has drawn severe flak in the Valley with people from different walks of life expressing anger and believing the increase would further stoke inflation.
The central government Friday deregulated petrol price effecting Rs 3.50 hike in petrol/litre. It also increased the prices of diesel by Rs 2/litre, kerosene by Rs 3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs 35/cylinder.
Greater Kashmir talked to a cross-section of people as also representatives of different segments of trade and economy. The reaction we got is:
President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nazir A Dar, said the fuel hike was another blow to the “already ailing business sector of the Valley.”
He said the hike would add to “our woes,” he said.
The KCCI president appealed to the state government to share some burden of the hike particularly on cooking gas in Kashmir, “where the people are suffering for last 20 years.”
Haji Muhammad Sadiq Baqal, president Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, said the hike shall affect the common man. “We strongly condemn this hike. This is uncalled for and should be taken back,” he demanded.
He said the hike would badly affect the traders, as freight on import of goods would also increase.
President Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, Shakeel Qalander said hike will largely impact the entire society “and industry is no exception.”
“This is a very harsh decision on part of the central government. This was never a right time for such a hike. Where the inflation, especially the food inflation had already made the life of a common man miserable, the oil price hike, particularly on the cooking gas, would further hit aam admi, which is very unfortunate,” he said.
FCIK president claimed that J&K would have more impact than any other state in India. “We are a crippled economy. We have just been trying to somehow bring our ailing economy back on rails. But the decisions like the present one would have highly deleterious effects on us,” he said.
With increase in fuel prices, he said, transportation charges and prices of all the products get increased.
He said the hike will badly impact the contracts that were already in hand with the entrepreneurs, “for there are fixed prices at which they have to supply their goods to the departments, where the responsibilities have been taken.”
“So after this increase, they will definitely be affected and will meet tremendous losses,” he said.
Like other sectors, the horticulture and agriculture sectors of the Valley cannot go unscathed by the price hike. “The pumps used to spray fertilizers on vegetables and fruits run on diesel, petrol or kerosene, so naturally fuel hike would largely affect the fruit and vegetable industries,” said Bashir Ahmad Bashir, chairman trade, New Kashmir Fruit Association.
“Then with increase in fuel prices, freight will definitely increase, which will again affect us, as a large chunk of fruits and vegetables have to be supplied outside the Valley through vehicles,” he said, and added that even otherwise the fruit and vegetable sectors had already suffered badly this year due to untimely rains and snowfall.
Besides, he said, the prices of cardboard for fruit boxes procured from outside, pesticides and fungicides shall also increase considerably.
* Common people:
“The hike is a cruel blow to the common man already suffering because of the increase in food prices,” said Atif Ahmad, a B.Sc third year student, and added that subsidies on basic items like petrol and cooking gas were a must.
“I drive about 30 to 40 Kilometers daily for work, so hike in fuel prices will badly hit people like me,” said Aashiq Hussain, an insurance agent.
“We spent over Rs 3000 a month on fuel. Now with the fuel price hike, it would mean an additional Rs 1500. Then a hike of Rs 35 per cylinder for LPG is another major concern,” added Ajaz Ahmad Shah, a businessman.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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