The 23 per cent hike in the prices of diesel and kerosene could not have come at a worse time for the common people who have already been suffering badly due to galloping food price inflation and income loss due to Covid-19 pandemic. Immediately after the fuel price hike, a countrywide transport strike has been enforced from yesterday for an indefinite period. Ironically, however, the strike is being enforced not in protest of the price hike, but to raise transport fare as well. So, commuting is going to be costlier.
And the cost of food consumption? One can easily bet. The fuel price hike will increase both production and transportation cost of agricultural products because irrigation cost and transport fare will go up. As a result the prices of various food items are set to soar higher much to the agony of low and middle income consumers. The fuel price hike could also trigger a chain reaction in the economy which could hamper post-pandemic recovery of many businesses.
Besides, price hike of everyday essential commodities has become a new normal as the prices of this or that are being raised almost on a daily basis, leaving little in the pockets of low and middle-income families to pay for education and health expenses. This is happening in a time when a new study report revealed that 32.4 million people have slipped into poverty during Covid-19 period.
Regrettably, hardly any attempt is being made to lighten the burden of fixed-income people as living is getting increasingly costlier. Don’t the authorities care about the people at all?