'History Repeats Itself'

In Modi Raj history repeats itself, 'first time as evil, second time as evil'. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led saffron dispensation is meticulously recreating a Nazi Germany in 21st century India. Close on the heels of planned mob violence against minority community people they are managing macro economy in such a way that defies logic. Nazis smashed, looted and destroyed Jewish shops. All Vienna's Synagogues were attacked. Jews were mercilessly beaten, jailed indiscriminately and murdered at the slightest pretext. The same thing is happening to Muslim population in India today. While violence makes life miserable common people find it increasingly difficult to make both ends meet because of continuous down turn of the economy which however the Modis deny. That the price of crude oil has fallen discernibly in international market is a hard fact. But the Modi Government has taken this moment to raise the prices of petroleum products. And it affects the common man most because any rise in petrol and diesel prices raises transport cost ultimately leading to price hike in essential commodities. When the price of crude oil is falling globally, rise in petrol and diesel prices in India is a surprising event. When it was expected that the domestic prices of petrol and diesel would fall in response to the drop in international prices, the Modis raise the domestic prices because

The Narendra Modi Government has actually increased the excise duty on petrol and diesel. This is a calculated assault on the people already suffering under severe economic recession and declining purchasing power of low wage earners. The special excise duty on petrol has been hiked by Rs 2 to Rs 8 per litre in case of petrol and to Rs 4 in case of diesel. For every litre of petrol the excise duty is now Rs 22.98 and on diesel it is Rs 18.83. What is more along with petrol and diesel prices road cess too has been raised in tandem. Dismantling the administered price mechanism price mechanism, the country was told that the benefits of a fall in crude prices would be passed on the consumers. On the contrary, since the BJP assumed office in 2014, duties on petrol have increase by 142 percent and on diesel by a whopping 429 percent. And now added to all these is CORONA pandemic. Strangely enough, barring CPI-M, no political party has demanded the withdrawal of this criminal hike in petrol and diesel. Retail prices must be lowered to levels corresponding to the fall in the international prices, i.e. by 30 percent.

The obvious reason for this paradox is the desire of the government to earn more revenue even if it ruins common people. No doubt the government will be able to add to its coffer billions of rupees. But the billion rupee question is: where will the money extracted from the consumers go? In order to save public sector banks, reeling under the impact of the burden of non-performing assets i.e. un repaid loans, the government has to inject more funds into the banking sector. It is now an open secret that largest bank defaulters are India's crony capitalists like the Adanis and Ambanis, the main backers of Modi-Shah combine. When the government has already reduced corporate taxes to corporate big houses and their foreign partners in good humour, it has no option but to tax the common man to raise money.

In truth the government has not been able to correct the imbalance created by Modi's twin notorious policies of Demonetisation and GST. These steps have led to closure of large numbers Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs). Demonetisation has killed those who were operating in cash only. GST has made it possible for large companies to sell their products across the country and has correspondingly made it difficult for SMEs to survive. This in turn has led to a drastic reduction in employment because SMEs have always been the main engine of job creation.

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Vol. 53, No. 36, Mar 7 - 13, 2021