BJP MLA Says Fuel Price Hikes Due To Crisis in Afghanistan

This is new…agitated by the price of petrol, diesel and gas, and looking for someone to blame? This time it is a BJP MLA from Karnataka blaming Taliban crisis in Afghanistan for fuel price rise.

The increase in prices – an increase which started in May, with hikes over several consecutive days has continued incessantly.

“Because of the Taliban crisis in Afghanistan, there has been a dip in supply of crude oil. Consequently, prices of LPG, petrol and diesel are rising. Voters are mature enough to understand the reasons for price rise,” Aravind Bellad, MLA for the Hubli-Dharwad West constituency, said.

India is the world’s third-biggest importer (and consumer) of crude oil. But Afghanistan does not figure among the major sellers or reasons for hiked prices.

As of July 2021, the top six countries selling crude oil to India are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, the United States and Canada.

The present crisis in Afghanistan does have the potential to affect oil and gas prices. But such an impact is as yet unclear. The global community (and particularly oil-producing nations) still cautious in their dealing with the Taliban and the Afghan government.

In June, it was reported that India’s crude oil imports had hit an eight-month low, as refiners cut down processing in the face of a tumultuous second wave of the coronavirus.

The unrelenting increase in fuel (petrol and diesel) and LPG cylinder prices over the past several months have triggered fierce criticism of the Narendra Modi government from both the opposition and members of the public, crores of whom are struggling to make ends meet during a pandemic.

The government has defended itself by blaming the opposition; last month Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it could not lower costs because it had to bear the cost of oil bonds the Congress-led UPA government had issued to companies.

The Congress hit back hard, with the party and Rahul Gandhi accusing the government of having earned over ₹ 23 lakh crore in the seven years that the BJP has been in power.