As Petrol Prices Hit Century, PM Modi Blames Previous Governments

IYC members wore masks with the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to depict them “celebrating” as the cost of petrol crossed the century mark.

As Petrol prices surged over Rs 100 in two states on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed his predecessors for the skyrocketing fuel prices. If the previous governments had focussed on reducing the country’s energy import dependence, the middle class would not have been this burdened today, Pm Modi claimed, PTI reported.

While addressing an online event to inaugurate oil and gas projects in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister asked: “Can a diverse and talented nation like ours be so energy import dependent?”

“I do not want to criticise anyone but I want to say, had we focused on this subject much earlier, our middle-class would not be burdened.”

On Wednesday, petrol and diesel prices continued to hit record high levels as oil manufacturing companies hiked fuel prices for the ninth consecutive day. Petrol cost Rs 100.13 per litre in Rajasthan’s Sri Ganganagar town, while diesel was priced at Rs 92.13 a litre. Prices of branded petrol had breached the Rs 100-mark for the first time in parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh earlier this week.

However, PM Modi claimed that his government was “sensitive to the concerns of the middle class”. That is why India is now increasing the focus on ethanol to help farmers and consumers, he said. “Ethanol extracted from sugarcane is being doped in petrol to reduce the requirement of imports,” the Prime Minister added. “Currently, 8.5% of petrol is ethanol and this proportion is targeted to be raised to 20% by 2025, helping cut imports as well as give farmers an alternate source of income,” PM Modi said.

The focus now was also towards using renewable sources of energy, and that by 2030, 40% of all energy will be generated from green energy sources, he stressed.

The prime minister said that India is looking to reduce energy import dependence through capacity building. “In 2019-20, we were fourth in the world in [oil] refining capacity. About 65.2 million tonnes of petroleum product have been exported,” PM Modi said.

Meanwhile, at Connaught Place in Delhi on Wednesday, the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) organised a protest against the rising price of petrol, diesel and LPG gas cylinders.

The IYC members, protesting the skyrocketing fuel prices, wore masks with the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to depict them “celebrating” as the cost of petrol crossed the century mark in many parts of the country.

The Centre was not interested in curbing inflation, the youth congress alleged. Srinivas B.V., the national president of IYC, said: “By robbing the people, the Modi government is focusing only on the development of capitalists. By increasing the prices of petrol, diesel and gas cylinders again, the Modi government has made it clear that it has nothing to do with the problems of the common people.”

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