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Indians are cutting down on essentials like onions, wheat to afford fuel hike, survey says

With petrol prices touching around Rs 100 and diesel up to nearly Rs 90, Indians are dipping into savings or cutting down on expenses to meet their fuel need, says LocalCircles survey.

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New Delhi: Petrol prices have skyrocketed to breach Rs 100 in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Rs 97 in Mumbai and Rs 90 in the national capital. Diesel prices too have exceeded Rs 90 in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Rs 88 in Mumbai and Rs 81 in Delhi. This rise in fuel prices is now beginning to pinch the average Indian.

According to a survey by community platform LocalCircles across 291 districts, 51 per cent respondents have been cutting down on their expenses to meet their fuel needs, while as many as 21 per cent are cutting back on essential commodities like onions, tomatoes, pulses, wheat and rice.

Another 14 per cent are being forced to dip into their savings to meet the inflated bills.

However, about 43 per cent respondents said their monthly fuel bill is typically lower than normal because they don’t have to commute daily to their place of work.

The survey received over 22,000 responses.

Also read: Budget is about govt role as facilitator, private sector as driver of growth — FM Sitharaman

What Indians want

The survey said 79 per cent Indians want the state government to take direct action by either reducing the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate or imposing an absolute VAT.

Around 32 per cent respondents seek an absolute VAT, 47 per cent a cut in the VAT rate while 8 per cent believe the present taxation model is fine.

Currently, VAT is calculated as a percentage of the base price of the fuel. If an absolute VAT is levied, it can help keep the prices lower even if the base price of petrol and diesel rises, said LocalCircles in a press statement.

According to the survey, 89 per cent respondents also demand a complete or partial reversal of the increased excise duty, and infrastructure cess on petrol, which was levied in May 2020 due to reduced fuel consumption.

While 59 per cent want a full reversal, 30 per cent say the Centre should only partially reverse the cess.

The government had increased excise duty by Rs 3 per litre when fuel demand was low due to the lockdown in April 2020.

Also read: Simplify GST, trader body tells PM, says penalty system has brought ‘tax terrorism’ to country


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    For some reason the higher fuel prices do not seem to gain significant political traction.
    Is it not because both the center and states need the additional revenue and the people are not complaining because there is no run away inflation.
    There is no dearth of the theory hunters.

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