Budget Blues: Fuel price hike likely as no duty cuts emerge!
The 2011 Union Budget was expected to cushion the common man from a fuel price even as the volatile political situation in the Middle East threatens to push fuel price to record highs of $100 and above. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case as the Indian Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has failed to announce a slew of originally anticipated measures to ensure that both the consumers as well as the state owned oil companies manage to ride out the current high prices with minimal losses.
Instead of hiking the fuel prices, the Indian government was expected to come out with a formula to ensure that fuel prices remained steady by reducing import duties on crude oil as well and petrol and diesel. In the previous budget, the import duties for both petrol and diesel were increased by 5 percent, which resulted in prices of the fuels going up.
In this budget, it was widely anticipated that these duties would be cut in order to tide over a possible fuel price hike. This however, has not happened. So, in essence, the common man has no breathing space even as crude oil prices continue to dangerously teeter on the other side of $100 per barrel and fuel price hike thus appears imminent if the current trend of crude oil prices hovering above the $100/Barrel mark persists.