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51% of Indians cutting spending to cope with high price of fuel: Survey

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 22, 2021

Around 51 per cent of Indians are cutting spending to cope with the rising fuel prices, according to a survey by community social media platform LocalCircles.

The platform conducted a study to better understand how citizens have coped with the rising prices of petrol and diesel in the last 12 months and their expectations from the Centre and States in terms of immediate relief.

The survey received over 22,000 responses from citizens residing in 291 districts across the country.

Owing to the high price of petrol/diesel, 21 per cent of the respondents are cutting essentials spending while 14 per cent are dipping into savings to pay for it.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has induced a giant-fall in citizens’ personal finance, especially for those who lost their jobs, faced salary cuts and delays or a loss in business volumes, with most being the bread-earners of the family,” LocalCircles said.

“The rise in price of any commodity directly impacts their personal finance or savings and many of them have been cutting their discretionary spending.”

 

Around 43 per cent of respondents also stated that they were able to cope with the rise because of their monthly petrol or diesel bill being lower due to limited commute or work from home.

The report further adds that a majority of people want their State government to take action related to the rising prices of fuel. Citizens want their government to either lower the VAT rate or levy an absolute value of VAT.

“An absolute VA levied instead of a percentage VAT can help keep the prices lower even if the base price of petrol and diesel rises in the coming months,” the report said.

Furthermore, 89 per cent of the respondents want the Central Government to reverse the Covid-related excise duty introduced in May 2020 at least in part; 59 per cent of them want a complete reversal.

“In summary, the common citizen is now feeling the pinch of high petrol and diesel prices.”

“A lower middle-class individual has limited room in their monthly expenses and if the cost of operating a two-wheeler or the public transport cost and the cost of essentials rise, they have no option but to cut one of those expenses to cope up. Given that the Covid-related excise duty and road infrastructure cess was increased in May 2020 to make up for loss of revenue and that economy is seeing a recovery, the Central Government must consider reversing this partially or fully. That is what 89 per cent citizens who were surveyed, want.

“Also, people want their State government to do their bit by reducing the VAT rate on petrol and diesel or levy the VAT in absolute term such that even if the base price of fuel rises, the impact on citizens as far as state VAT goes is capped,” it further added.

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Published on February 22, 2021
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