Kolkata/Ranchi: If you are resident of Kolkata, Ranchi, Jaipur or Bhopal, you might have less per capita income than the residents of Delhi, but when it comes to petrol price or diesel price, you are paying more than those residing in the national capital.
The per capital income of Delhi is four times more than that of Jharkhand, three times more than Bengal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (MP). Delhi has over 3 lakh per capital annual income of its average resident, while Bengal, Rajasthan and MP have around a lakh, and Jharkhand has only Rs70,000 annually.
But petrol price in Delhi on May 21 is Rs 76.57 and diesel Rs 67.82 for a litre. However, if you travel to Jaipur, which is only few hours away from the national capital, petrol price soars high by Rs 3 and will cost you Rs 79.32. The fact that Rajasthan has more farmers than Delhi, higher diesel price means more difficulties in agricultural works. In 2017, Rajasthan had witnessed several protests by farmers but still if you are in desert state you will have to shell out an extra Rs 5 for diesel, which costs Rs 72.23.
Central India which we know as Madhya Pradesh, its state capital Bhopal has no match to the financial capital of India—Mumbai but Bhopalis have to pay almost at par with what Mumbaikars pay for petrol and diesel. Those living in the Maximum City pay the highest price for petrol these days– Rs 84.40, while Bhopalis pay the second highest price for petrol– Rs 82.17. The state which has similar farmer protests like Rajasthan in recent times, has no less diesel price, Rs 71.38 for a litre.
But the most ironic is the pricing of petrol and diesel in Jharkhand, which has one of the least per capital income in India and recently, as many as seven people have died of starvation. But its residents not only have to pay almost a rupee more for petrol, but almost four rupees more for a litre of diesel in comparison to Delhi.
Kolkata is a metro city, however, when it comes to cost of living, it is nowhere close to Delhi. Chances of surviving in Kolkata in a smaller monthly income are far higher than in New Delhi. But when it comes to the cost of petrol, then a will cost dearer in Kolkata than that in Delhi. Petrol and diesel priced at 79.24, and Rs 70.37, respectively in Kolkata, costs at least three rupees more than its cost in Delhi.
It is another issue that even today, when crude oil costs only Rs 33 per litre. In international market, a barrel of crude oil (approx 159 litres) costs only Rs 5360, which is the same cost at which India imports it. However due to heavy taxes levied by the state and central government we have to buy petrol and diesel at such a high price.
And even after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 1800 goods and services, petrol and diesel have not been brought under GST, which allows a maximum of 28 per cent taxes to be levied by the government. Ideally, these two commodities should have been brought under GST.
Higher petrol and diesel prices hurt everyone, right from common man to farmers in day to day life. However, no major political party has hit the street in these four states to highlight the everyday plight of the people of their state. As it gives huge exchequer to governments, you cannot expect the ruling government in these states to reduce the massive pricing without any major protest by public and the opposition.
And it is not a rocket science to understand that in Delhi, government charge less tax that’s why its residents have pay less.
*Petrol and diesel prices corresponds to that quoted on Indian Oil website, considering it a base one. Oil prices of other companies vary by a slim margin.