Karnataka BJP MLA Aravind Bellad has come up with a justification for the increase in the prices of petrol. According to him, it is due to the Taliban crisis in Afghanistan.
“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 third largest importer of crude oil
As per Reuters, as of July 2021, the top six countries selling crude oil to India are Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, the United States and Canada.
India is the world’s third-largest crude oil importer (and consumer), however Afghanistan is not among its best-selling countries. According to Reuters, as of July 2021, the top six countries that sell crude oil to India are Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Nigeria, the United States and Canada.
The situation in Afghanistan may affect oil and natural gas prices, but this effect is not yet clear. The international community (especially oil-producing countries) is still cautious when dealing with the Taliban and the Afghan government.
Imports reach 8 month low
In June this year, Reuters reported that during the turbulent second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, refineries cut processing volumes, so crude oil imports from India have reached an eight-month low.
The continued rise in prices for fuel (gasoline and diesel) and LPG cylinders in recent months has sparked fierce criticism of the Narendra Modi government from the opposition and the public. During the pandemic, millions of people work hard to make ends meet.
Sitharaman blames opposition for the steep price rise
Last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that she could not cut costs because she had to bear the cost of the oil bonds issued by the UPA Congressional government to the company.
Congress fiercely fought back and the party and Rahul Gandhi accused the government of earning more than 230 million rupees during the seven years of the BJP.
Gandhi further said that when UPA resigned, the price of an LPG cylinder was between 410 and 885 rupees, which has now risen by 116 rupees. He said that since 2014, gasoline prices have risen 42% and diesel prices have risen more than 55%.