By Saivikrant Deshpande
INDIA, the country which speaks out the ideology of liberalism, state which despite its overwhelming population stands as the six largest economy across the world. The country post 1947, has faced both ups and downs throughout these 72 years but never succumbed to a standstill. In 1975, India, for the first time, during the period of emergency, had witnessed such a precarious situation wherein the country stopped for a while renouncing growth and preaching fundamental rights violations.
Today the major contention of this article is to draw a parallel line between 1975 and every time the opposition or the government tries to call a nationwide shut down to working of people from all walks of life.
10th September 2018, is a day when the centrist bloc and INC’s leader Mr. Rahul Gandhi along with the support of 21 regional parties put a shun to the country’s working primarily because of their firm criticism against the government for an escalated growth in fuel price, depreciation of Indian Currency Rupee against dollar and no probe into allegations made against the government on the irregularities involved in the Rafale deal.
On digging into the controversial sector of “fuel price hike), it is evident that there has been a rocketed price hike especially in Delhi, wherein a liter of petrol will now cost Rs 80.87 and diesel Rs 72.97, while in Mumbai petrol and diesel have touched new highs of Rs 88.26 and Rs 77.47 per litre, respectively.
The nexus of rationale put forth by government behind this instability in these prices is the depreciation of Indian currency in front of US dollar which is happening owing to the current euro crisis.
After much analysis, it has been seen that if the Euro crisis is the crux for the depreciation for Indian currency and subsequently, the current fuel price hike situation then why Pound and various other currencies remain unaffected.
Adding to it, opposition has tried to ascertain that despite the fact that crude oil’s price in the international market is on decline then correspondingly, the domestic prices of petrol and diesel should also fall because India solely relies on it’s import bill for the incorporation of fuel sources.
In the actual reality it is primarily because of the current fiscal deficit (difference between revenue and expenditure). Surface reasons escalating this deficit is the financial funding or subsidy offered on petroleum, food and fertiliser. Cost of subsidy on oil for the year 2012-2013 is estimated to be Rs 43,580 crores and when the loss suffered by oil marketing companies is also added to it, the total amount stands at Rs 1,14,000 crores.
The current earning of the government is lower than its expenditure which means that fiscal deficit of government is increasing. Foremost, fiscal deficit is linked with trade deficit which means import more than export. India’s major proportion of its import bills is oil. Since, dollar is used to pay the import bills, so importers need to buy dollar by paying rupees. Present crisis means more rupees have to be given for the same dollars leading to more rupees in the market. According to demand and supply theory, rupee is continuously losing value and Oil marketing companies have to pay more for the same amount of oil imports.
Conclusion is that if Indian government does not increase vat or other taxes on oil, its revenue will decline on a more rapid pace whereas if it tries to pull the prices down then its fiscal deficit will keep on rising. Therefore, by any way situation is going to be precarious until and unless some other modes of reviving the economy is incorporated.
The ideal course of action by the side of the government can be bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of Goods and Services tax, leading it to multi-fold benefits to both the people and the government as it will not only reduce the prices by 10-15 rupees but will give the state the actual revenue accrued due to the sales of petrol and diesel.
Talking about Bharat band, the author firmly believes that mass of the country is highly reliable on the onset of governance of it’s representatives not only the central and state government but the opposition as well. It can be agreed, there may be flaws and loopholes in the functioning of any government and the ideal course of action for the opposition is to critically analyse them and not only criticise them but come up with an alternative in either house of the Parliament.
The idea of corrective justice is to render the status quo without putting any collateral damage to the public across. The issue of price hike stands as a pivotal matter of concern for the public. This is primarily because of the fact that the whole fertiliser, logistics and transportation industry depend on the same factor. Foremost, not only the aforesaid industries but even others which are indirectly assisted by the very same get affected. This is in turn establishes a direct link between India’s economy and its primary and secondary sectors with changes in fuel prices.
By calling a bandh, the current issue does not gets resolved whereas the economy faces more negatives owing to business and personal lives losses.
The worst sufferers are the people of the country as proved by an instance in the state of Bihar where due to a prolonged traffic jam because of the ‘Bharat bandh’ a girl who was in a precarious medical situation lost her life in the ambulance while she was being taken to the hospital.
The education system of the society also suffered on the onset of making schools and colleges closed due to the opposition’s ignorant act.
The states primarily referring to Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Eastern UP, Maharashtra, Bihar and Jharkhand stand as the most negatively affected by the very move.
Hence, by the aforesaid issue, the author solicits its viewer discretionary wisdom in analyzing the current situation and to reach to a conclusion whether there is a prudent correlation between the status quo and the course of action taken up by the opposition by calling.