The unprecedented price hike of petrol has not only left the masses fretting and fuming in anger but also given the opportunity to the Opposition parties to train their guns on the Union Government, as it failed to show any concrete base behind its decision. Ironically, even though Petroleum Ministry had brushed aside the speculations on petrol price hike amidst the soaring inflation, the rates were increased soon after his unripe statement. Masses are feeling cheated because the Centre’s claims that price hike has been done to counterbalance the financial losses incurred by the oil companies, does not hold much substance. On ground reality, the oil companies are not staring in the face of monetary deficits due to petrol prices. The petrol rate has been hiked to help the Union Government recover its financial losses in other sectors. The petrol price has been increased at a time when the food inflation has shot over 12 percent mark. The double face of the Central Government has been exposed as on one end it expresses serious concern over the high inflation graph, whereas at the same time it increases the petrol price to ensure that inflation keeps surging up. Finance Minister’s concern over the food inflation and his statement which claims increase in petrol rates will have an adverse impact on inflation clearly indicates that the Centre does not have an answer to inflation or petrol hike. The only art in which the Centre is an expert is the skill to turn up with new alibis and hollow claims to cover its failures. Festive season has been termed as the fresh reason behind hike in food inflation. Without making adequate arrangement for increase in production of food products and proper supply facilities, dip in inflation seems unlikely. However, the issue has been left in abeyance by the Centre. The situation has become even more pitiful and worrisome because the government has simply failed to assess the future.

The Central Government’s economic mismanagement and shortsightedness has not only entangled itself but the entire nation in a vicious circle. Meanwhile, no signals are in offing from the policy makers of the Centre which can help the country recuperate from the obfuscated situation. Though the Union Government is equipped with a team of financial experts, it has lost credibility in the masses through its poor policies and decisions. The situation has dipped to the extent that even ruling alliance members have been compelled to publicly condemn its decision. Under such circumstance, the threat by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to withdraw support from the UPA on the issue of petrol price hike comes as no major surprise. If these signals are not meant to appease the party vote bank, then it clearly means that the Union Government is heading towards a serious problem. Nationalist Congress Party and National Conference have already expressed their concern over petrol price hike, whereas the Opposition has been quick to term the Union Government as a failure on all fronts. As the Centre is directly responsible for its present scenario, it does not deserve any sympathy. If the allies of UPA and the Opposition are disappointed with the petrol price hike, they should come up with measures to save people from the clutches of inflation.