Punjab: Petrol, diesel, LPG: Increase in rates fuels rage in Ludhiana city
Businessmen are the most affected due to the high rate of diesel as their cost of production has shot up. They are holding the Centre responsible for the situation and demanding immediate remedial steps
Ludhiana: Businessmen and housewives are furious over rising prices of petrol, diesel and LPG. The per litre rate of diesel in Ludhiana on Tuesday was Rs 81.79 and of petrol Rs 90.82, while an LPG cylinder was for Rs 771, which till October was available for Rs 621.
Businessmen are the most affected due to the high rate of diesel as their cost of production has shot up. They are holding the Centre responsible for the situation and demanding immediate remedial steps.
Jaswinder Thukral, president of Janta Nagar Small-Scale Manufacturers’ Association (JSMA), said, “The fuel rates have skyrocketed in the past three months and the Centre is responsible for it. Diesel is like a raw material for us, as it is not only used in our vehicles, but also in power generators and some production processes. Therefore, even a single paisa increase hits us adversely. In the past three months, the diesel rate has been hiked by almost Rs 10 and it seems it will keep on increasing. Petrol rates, too, have been increased by almost equal proportion. LPG price has shot up manifold, making our lives miserable.”
Thukral said knowing well that the industry was in dire straits, the Centre was watching it die a slow death. “We have shot off a warning letter to the petroleum ministry to immediately reduce the rate of diesel to Rs 70 per litre, cap it and make the rate uniform in all states.”
Harish Kairpal, finance secretary of Knitwear Club, said it was shocking that the rate of diesel, which was an essential commodity for the industry, has shot up exorbitantly and the government has turned a blind eye to it. “Our business and personal expenses too have increased. Due to the existing market slump, we cannot pass on the increase to our customers and have been forced to absorb it, thereby incurring heavy losses. The government must bring petrol and diesel under the GST system so that industrialists can claim it back and it will automatically cut the cost,” he said.
Atul Saggar, general secretary of Apparel Manufacturers’ Association of Ludhiana, said, “The hiked fuel rates will increase cost of transportation, running machinery and other processes. Diesel and petrol are at an all-time high in India. Regardless of the reduction in the rate of crude oil in the international market, no benefit has been passed on to us. It is a big failure on the part of the Centre that is killing the industry.”
A housewife from Model Gram, Anita Rani, was livid. “An LPG cylinder rate was Rs 621 in October and now it has gone up by Rs 150 and reached Rs 771. This has shaken our kitchen budget and we do not know how to manage things, especially when prices of vegetables, fruits, pulses and edible oil are also going up. It is our request to the Centre to do something and control LPG rate, as a middle-class family cannot cope with such inflation.”