Why target diesel?

Shivaji Sarkar

Why one should target diesel and make it so expensive that it becomes unusable? The answer is simple environmentalists apparently egged by oil sellers have branded it as highly pollutant ad recommended high prices for it. Even the National green Tribunal in its wisdom has recommended banning a ten-year-old well-performing diesel vehicle. The Quixotic approach has put the government in a dilemma, which wants to remain a Bhadralok and abide by all those nonsense. No the government needs to apply brain. The oil lobby has long been targeting diesel because if it is not used India’s crude import would double. Diesel use alone has reached 7.7 million tonne, says Sukrit Vijayakar, director of consultancy Trifecta Energy as India goes full swing on infrastructure build-up. This is the contradiction. On the one hand India plans to use more diesel and on the other impose impractical regulations, price and taxes. Diesel is widely used across the industry, transport, shipping and agriculture. Quixotic decisions have made living and business propositions expensive shooting off inflation. The diesel is having a less refining price. It was earlier priced less for that matter. But profiteering by oil marketing companies has put it almost at par with petrol. Why? They are breaking the backbone of Indian economy and ruining agriculture and industry. The approach is irrational. Why should not a diesel vehicle run for 15 or more years if in good condition? Let us not emulate the west for its entire idiosyncrasy. Even the UK allows vehicles to ply for 40 or more years. What has made India renege on it? It only helps the auto industry sell more at the cost of poor people and farmers. It increases business costs. Let us have a rethink and junk all environment, oil and auto lobbies. They create fear and syndrome to jack up their profits at the cost of the Indian society. It is criminal. Let diesel be treated like any other fuel be low-priced for its low refining cost.

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