Constant increase of fuel price in Assam is affecting the people of Assam as petrol and diesel has reached a record high price in the past few days. As of now, the State government has said that the price rise of crude oil in the international market is the reason behind the sudden rise of petrol and diesel. Public protests and allegations against the State government have spread all over the State, holding the Government accountable for the increase in price.
The price in Guwahati of petrol and diesel today is Rs. 79.66 and Rs. 71.34 respectively with an average increase of .29 paisa and .25 paisa in the last seven days. According to the depot owners in Guwahati, the rise in the last few days is only due to increase in the international market as oil marketing companies (OMCs) have resumed daily price revision on May 14.
However, owners have also mentioned that the tax imposed on petrol and diesel is completely on the Centre and the State where there is a chance of controlling the price. Reports have also surfaced that the Centre might come out with some steps sooner to provide relief to fuel consumers. Also, the frequency of increase and decrease of the fuel prices has gone up to days now which were in months during the last year as stated by the depot owners.
Political parties, student organisations in Guwahati even burnt effigies of the Central Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Congress leader Ripon Bora was seen riding a rickshaw as a mark of protest against the price rise. He said that the present government has done it only for the interest of corporate. He also demanded the BJP-led state government to cut the tax over fuel so the prices can be brought under control.
It is to be mentioned that the oil royalty to the state by the Centre was decided in 2016 itself immediately after the formation of the BJP government in Assam. The Central government paid Rs 948 crore in 2016-2017; Rs 2,844 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 2,528 crore in 2018-19. This is in addition to the Rs 1,450 crore extra royalty received by the State in 2016. If not in the fuel prices, the State government can regulate prices in other areas while formulating the State budget as promised by the government.
By Manjum Mahanta