04:18 GMT17 January 2021
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    For about ten days, fuel prices in several Indian cities have been on a gradual rise. On 20 November, per litre prices of petrol and diesel witnessed a revision after a hiatus of 48 days. At the time, the cost of one litre of petrol and diesel reached INR 81.23 ($1.10) and INR 70.68 ($0.95) respectively in the capital Delhi.

    The per litre cost of petrol and diesel on Tuesday reached a whopping INR 90 ($1.20) and INR 80 ($1.10) in some parts of India – including cities like Delhi and Bhopal, the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh, among others. 

    Fluctuations in fuel rates differ from state to state in India, depending on the incidence of value-added taxes (VAT) that make up for nearly two-thirds of the retail sale price. 

    Citing Ajay Singh, the president of the Madhya Pradesh Petrol Pump Owners Association, local media reported that following the relaxations in coronavirus-induced lockdowns the demand for fuel has risen, causing a surge in prices.

    A lot of people in India – a country that has officially entered a pandemic-caused recession with a 7.5 percent shrink in overall economy – are very upset with these extravagant costs being added to essential commodities like petrol and diesel.

    Talking to social media, Indian netizens have slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government with sarcasm and memes for the fuel price hikes.

    ​Fuel prices in India are some of the highest among southern Asian nations, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh – where the per litre cost of petrol and diesel roughly ranges between INR 33 to INR 74 ($0.45-$1.01).

    No official statement concerning the hike in fuel prices has yet been released by the government.

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