Srinagar: With no end to surge in petroleum prices, people in Kashmir are feeling the heat as the rise in fuel prices has stoked inflation thus burning a hole in consumer’s pocket.
As per the details gathered from Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), petrol is being sold at Rs 107.4 a litre, and diesel at Rs 97.3 per litre, implying that the fuel prices are at its peak in Kashmir.
According to market experts the rising fuel prices have serious implications on the economy as it leads to inflation as well as eats up the common man’s savings. As per the Government of India’s data, the inflation rate in J&K is 7.39 percent, which is highest in India.
There is a growing demand in Kashmir seeking the government's intervention to cut down taxes on petroleum products like the administration did with Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) used by air carriers.
“J&K government must do something in this regard. We commoners are feeling the heat of this fuel price. I work in the private sector having a family to feed, with soaring prices, owning a vehicle has become a luxury which people like me cannot afford. I have stopped going to the office on my vehicle, rather I prefer public transport to save my hard earned earnings,” Ishtiyak Ahmad, a Srinagar resident.
The business community in Kashmir is also facing the pinch of rising fuel prices.
“Kashmir’s economy is in distress, rising prices of petroleum have broken the back of common man. It has a huge impact on the overall economy. In the last few months, prices of all essential commodities have gone up due to higher transport costs,” said Farhan Kitab, President, Kashmir Retailers Association.
He said that the government should cut down the tax rate on petroleum like they did with ATF recently to control airfare. “Petroleum prices affect everybody, be it rich or poor, because it leads to inflation which has a direct brunt on all of us, therefore the government must initiate measures to curb petroleum prices.”
Consumers have faced an unprecedented increase in auto fuel prices for the past one month that has taken retail rates to record high levels across the country.
Accordingly, in the national capital, petrol continues to be sold at Rs 104.44 per litre and diesel at Rs 93.17 per litre, the same levels as Monday.
In India's financial capital, Mumbai, where petrol became costlier by 29 paise per litre on Monday, its retail rate remained static at Rs 110.41 on Tuesday, the highest across all the four metro cities. Diesel also costs Rs 101.03 for one litre in Mumbai.
Diesel prices have increased 15 out of the last 18 days before Tuesday's pause taking up its retail price by Rs 4.55 per litre in Delhi. The price of diesel has increased between 20-30 paisa per litre so far, but since Wednesday it has been increasing by 35 paise per litre.
With diesel prices rising sharply, the fuel is now available at over Rs 100 a litre in several parts of the country. This dubious distinction was earlier available to petrol that had crossed Rs 100 a litre-mark across the country a few months earlier.
Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5, but oil companies finally raised the pump prices last week. Petrol prices have also risen on 12 of the previous 14 days taking up its pump price by Rs 3.25 per litre.