“International crude oil prices have declined but consumers have not benefited. The Centre increased excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 10 and Rs 13 per litre respectively in May. The state government hiked value added tax (VAT) on petrol from 26 per cent to 32 per cent and on diesel from 26 per cent to 28 per cent,” said Utkal Petroleum Dealers Association general secretary Sanjay Lath.
Lath said the oil companies had started revising prices in the past nine days. “Because of the revision and tax burden, the price of petrol and diesel has gone up,” he added.
Buyers, already feeling the pinch of an economic shutdown, are unhappy. Ali Kishore Patnaik, CPM state secretary, said, “It is a difficult situation for the common man, who is already facing joblessness, loss of business and other constraints. The fuel price hike will add to their burden. If the transport sector is impacted, it will result in rise in prices of commodities,” he added.
Jitendra Mishra of Nayapalli said people could not even pay house rent and were borrowing money to make do. “This fuel hike is the last straw. It will increase the prices of everything, from commodities to taxi, auto and bus fare,” he said.