International Economic Condition (Crude Oil Prices)

Sita is an old widow who lives in Faridabad. She has a son who works as a taxi driver in the NCR region. They earn just enough to suffice their one time meal. Her fruit and vegetable demand is met by the few pennies she earns by stitching. They are surviving in this world of cut throat competition but definitely not living up their lives. But now, the increase in crude oil prices and inflation are putting a question on their sole source of survival?

Well, the above story is the voice of thousands of people who are struggling to live their life. They have to face a new obstacle every other day and they have to sleep with empty bellies every night. Many haven’t tasted the supper of their life yet!

Because of the growing demand of crude oil, its production has suffered due to instability in nations where it is produced and so has its prices.

This condition is not only prevalent in India but country as advanced as USA is a scapegoat to economic loopholes such as inflation, hiking crude oil prices etc. Many people who earn their living by driving taxis or individuals like “us” who commute by private vehicles on daily basis to earn bread for their family or to study or any other reason in the world, are the most affected.

We see daily the newspaper is stormed with headlines of increasing price of petrol, diesel and LPG. In India, recently we saw a huge increment in the prices. The petrol rate elevated by rupees 5 per liters and the cost of a cylinder saw an increment of rupees 20-25 per cylinder. This has left the common man baffled and helpless. How will he survive with such increasing prices? A man, who sweats all day long to get his family few things above the basic necessities, has to compromise with his dreams because of increased rates.
How common man is affected?

1. As I said earlier, the gasoline prices rise up which creates a commotion in our life on regular basis. A man and a woman who has to fetch around 10 members of her family on daily basis cant afford to spend money as high as rupees 2000/month on an LPG cylinder.
2. The prices for public transport rise up- the people who readily compromise with their comfort of personal vehicles, suffer even more. On an average, to cover one kilometer, an auto wallah charges rupees 40-50. For a middle class person like me it is no less than a night mare.
3. The people, who now fall into the category of middle class, will soon fall below the creamy layer. The increased prices force them to live abysmally and it lowers the standard of living.
4. Even the food prices are seen to be affected. Many people die due to starvation and others are dying because they cannot cope up with this kind of “ignominious” style of living.
5. This entire if combined together, affects the international reputation of a country. And bolsters slow growth of a nation, especially, in a country like India where 70 percent of people are underprivileged and live on the mercy of laws and concessions given by the government.
6. Government should provide loans and subsidies to people like Sita who cannot follow the other suggested ways.

Well, we need to ponder over the above situation because it weakens the nation as a whole. But it gets me onto the point that what government is doing to get the peace back of its citizens?

I guess nothing.

I understand when internationally the market is down, the government can’t really help it but also, they can’t sit idle and tightlipped on this issue. Subsidies and other concessions can be provided to the citizens. But our government as always is busy bullying its rivals. The recent statement of a BJP spokesperson substantiates my point. He was quoted saying” had BJP been ruling the nation, it would have worked for the welfare of common man. But congress is deceiving people and is totally corrupt.

Now, that is something pathetic in my eyes. These elite and rather “unaffected” people sit comfortably and curse and accuse the opposing party without giving much relief to the common man!!

Actions that can help citizens:

1. Government should reduce the tax it charges on petrol. At least it will give some relief to people.
2. The use of public transport should be abetted and the fare of such vehicles should be kept in reach of the “aam admi”.
3. As an individual we should encourage the carpool system. This helps in dividing the cost and also gives a setback to other major problems of pollution and road accidents.
4. The commutation via metro can be an easy escape because it’s both affordable and comfortable.
5. Instead of taking care of its bank balance, government should use funds for the public welfare.

So, I believe we can tackle the economic crisis not just by relying on the government but taking few steps ourselves. We can avoid using vehicles in case we can walk down the distance. And why don’t we use cycles?

They can never be the centre of debate?

The solution lies with us. Just the problem is to discover it at the right time.

Abha Goel