Consumers worried as fuel prices touch historic high

Diesel price crosses ₹90 a litre in many cities of T.N.

With diesel price crossing ₹90 a litre and touching a historic high at many places in the State on Monday, the common man and the transport operators have expressed shock and concern about its cascading effect on the cost of essential commodities.

In Tiruchi, a litre of diesel cost ₹90.12, in Madurai ₹90.48, in Coimbatore ₹90.40 and in Sankagiri ₹90.34. In Chennai, a litre of diesel cost ₹89.90. Last year on May 31, the price was ₹68.22, ₹79.21 on January 31, 2021 and ₹85.75 on May 1.

“In one year, there has been an increase of around ₹22 a litre. The Centre keeps saying that the increase is due to international crude prices or just keeps quiet. However, it ultimately falls on the common man. We can’t just hike prices since people are suffering, they don’t have any income either. Our businesses too are suffering. The national associations had called for strike but after sometime they have quietened down,” said S. Anandan of OMR Lorry Owners’ Association.

Port user Padmanabhan Sambasivam said the government should cut fuel prices. “Ports have given duty concession for medical supplies needed for COVID-19. However, these items need to be moved to various hospitals and the cost of transportation would only be added to the medical supplies. Toll plazas on national highways too add to the cost of transporters,” he said.

Purchasing power down

T. Sathish Kumar of Balaji Supermarket in Mylapore said that the purchasing power of consumers had come down, especially among those who had lost jobs or had taken pay cuts.

R. Seethalakshmi of Thoraipakkam said the government must reduce prices of petrol and diesel. “Due to pay cuts, as a family, we spend only on the essentials. Some families we know are unable to pay the school fees and are thinking of shifting their children to schools that take lower fees. The DMK had promised that it would reduce fuel prices if it came to power. I hope it keeps its word soon,” she said.

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