Talking about the price of petrol and diesel all across the nation today.
Let’s have a look.
Do you remember all this?
There are much more.
This was the BJP implementing the Bharat Bandh on the 31st of May, 2012 against the UPA government because of the “draconian petrol hike that’s breaking the backs of the common man and causing growth-slumping inflation.”
They called the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a lackey of the oil companies and accused him of standing by and doing nothing for the common man as the price of fuel kept on creeping up every week.
So, what happened? Why did the UPA government maintain such a high price for petrol and diesel? How cruel could they be?
Around 2012, due to changing growth expectations post the 2008 Financial Crisis, increased oil production in the USA, sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, and disruption of oil production in war-torn places Syria and Sudan, the price of crude oil in the international market sky rocketed up to a $100 per barrel and even breached it afterwards.
India imports 80% of its oil so naturally, we began to feel the pinch. The central government sensing the inflationary tendencies of such a back-breaking rise in the price of fuel in India began doling out subsidies to control that.
At its peak, in June 2012 when the crude oil price reached $106 per barrel, the average price of petrol and diesel in India was Rs. 76.31 and Rs. 61.55 respectively. 
The subsidies that the government set aside to regulate the price formed 1% of our GDP in 2012–13 while in 2004–05 it was ONLY 0.09% of our GDP. Needless to say, that bloated our subsidies bill and the idea of regulating the price to control inflation didn’t work very well either. The richest 10% households received seven times more in benefits than the poorest 10%. 
Point being, the UPA government did everything in its power to keep fuel prices under check even when that meant overstepping its budgetary limits.
Yet, the BJP criticised them for being beholden to the corporates of the nation and increasing the prices and said they were cruel and that they couldn’t care less for the people of India.
Fast forward to 2017, the international crude oil price per barrel has more than halved. It now stands at $53 per barrel as opposed to the $106 price back in 2012.
Well, that said, the price reduction should benefit us, the common public right? Fuel prices should hover around the 40 rupees mark, shouldn’t it?
Even when the crude oil prices have halved, the fuel prices are as much as it was during the UPA term. No difference.
Where’s the money going?
To the government.
As of now, we the common public of India are paying more than 100% tax on our fuel. Every time the price of petrol and diesel went down, the central government increased the excise duty so that we don’t feel the decrease in price. Here is a comparative chart from 2015.
Notice how the blue line (crude oil price) goes down drastically and yet the price that we pay for petrol did not falter one bit, like a dead man’s ECG.
Here is the comparison chart of fuel prices during UPA government in 2014 and that of the NDA government now, in September 2017.
Notice how the crude oil prices differ in the first column and then look at the overall price of petrol and diesel which remains almost the same. Magical stuff.
Now, I am an objective person. I am willing to cut some slack here. I realize the government needs that money and it has every right to take it. I also read last year that the government is charging such a high excise duty because it wants to offset the deficit incurred by the UPA government due to the grossly disproportional subsidy the latter had allocated to control prices in 2012.
But, what I have issues with is the hypocrisy. This U-turn.
Didn’t the BJP literally fool the people of India by rallying them against the government of the day by lying to them and telling them that the government is purposefully increasing fuel prices with no valid reason?
And then when they came to power, not only did they not do anything to reduce the price but they wouldn’t even let the benefit reach the people when fuel prices reduced by itself.
If this is not like the biggest u-turn ever, I don’t know what is.
Ask them why and we have senior leaders like the BJP’s Minister for Environment, Alphons Kannanthanam say, “It is to instill the idea of reduced fuel consumption among Indians so that we contribute to the envirnoment. Only rich people drive vehicles so this price hike shouldn’t matter to the poor.”
Yeah, like transport of goods and fuel prices are not linked to each other at all. And to think this dude was a decorated IAS officer. Come on man!
 Modi Government’s Defence of High Fuel Prices Is Flimsy
 UPA’s fiscal track record by the numbers