Bhubaneswar: The soaring prices of petrol and diesel have sparked widespread resentment among people especially the middle class in Odisha as the prices of the fuel have breached Rs 100-mark per litre at several places including the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
The increase in fuel prices has also affected the price of daily household commodities. The price rise came at a time when people are reeling under severe financial crisis due to pandemic-induced job loss or pay cut.
“As a middle-class man, we would rather prefer walking or cycling for communication than travelling in bike with Rs 3 per km as the price of petrol reached Rs 100. The decision to hike prices of Petrol and diesel is not pro-people,” said a commuter.
“If the trend continues, we would force to borrow money from money lenders or bank for family sustenance during the time of pandemic,” he added.
Another consumer said that hike would pinch the pocket of common man.
“Though the government cannot prevent the increase in prices due to hike in crude oil prices in international market, it can bring some relief by slashing VAT on the fuel,” he demanded.
The fuel price would definitely impact the family budget, he added.
“The prices of the fuel have been increasing for the last three years which is largely affecting the common man. It would not make any difference for the rich class, but the middle class people definitely suffer. I appeal to the government to slash the price for the interest of common people," said a biker.
Petrol is being sold over at Rs 100 per litre in several places in the State in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar while diesel price is closed to Rs 100 per litre.
Rise of price in international market is unlikely to decrease soon, said Sanjay Lath, general secretary of Utkal petrol pump owners' association. "The increase in tax, which was effected to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, should be rolled back. I think the government will take a decision at the right time," he added.
Fuel price is directly affecting the cost of essentials due to extra charges on transportation. Prices of edible oil and other grocery items are also on rise due to rising cost of fuel.
Kishore Nayak, secretary of Bhubaneswar truck owners'association said that the rise in the fuel price will force them to increase fare.
On the other hand, secretary of Odisha traders association, Sudhakar Panda said that the hike in fuel price is resulting in increase in the prices of essentials and hitting the common man hard.