Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News – 11-09-2018
An editor for a local newspaper in India has told Radio Islam the government in that country is turning a blind eye to the concern over increased fuel hikes and are behaving like dictators.
Raja Choudhary from News Portal say the nationwide strikes and protests over record-high fuel prices on Monday saw a good turnout with many more than twenty opposition parties and civil society voicing their concerns.
Many business were closed, highways and roads blocked and schools and colleges shut during the strike.
Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in the world’s third biggest oil consumer in May 2014, he has used tax hikes on petrol and diesel to raise funds for welfare programmes.
Taxes account for more than a third of retail fuel prices and past governments lowered.
According to a report in Reuters, the government has largely refused to cut taxes, drawing criticism from the main opposition Congress party for the “fuel loot” that it said had raised 11 trillion rupees ($152 billion) for the exchequer since Modi came to power in 2014.
Choudhary says the protest displayed public anger at the government’s lack of addressing the issue of high petrol price.
“The government has always turned a blind eye, they are just being like dictators, they don’t want to listen. They are giving false grasp (sic) for the lack of depriving us here. One thing we Indians and as a journalist I want to tell you, that it could’ve been managed in a better way.”
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says its opponents were “unnecessarily politicising” the issues when the economy was doing well under the current government.
Fuel prices vary from state to state because of local taxes, but they have risen across the country. In Delhi, petrol prices are up about 14 percent this year while diesel is up a fifth.
Listen to the interview with Raja Choudhary