Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Petroleum prices and what the government should be doing!

I always wished that petroleum prices would rise so much that we would switch back to horse carriages and all those fancy vehicles driven by horses like that stagecoach thing in The Good The Bad and The Ugly in which Tuco discovers Bill Carson. Unfortunately that is not going to happen no matter how much I wish. But the insane petrol prices are going to raise the price of all commodities very soon if they have not already.
Now I can go on suggesting remedies for this but you as well as I know what kind of people we have in power in a society where the one dream that every middle class father has for his son is to see him in a position where he can siphon off public funds. But since both you and I are not going to improve let us go through the routine of writing and reading.
Here is what I think should be done immediately for controlling fuel price
Increase the taxation on heavy non-commercial vehicles like the SUVs owned by private people to pollute the environment. It is nothing new happens in France as the engine volume goes up the taxes rise dramatically. This would not only generate additional revenues that can be directed to subsidize petrol prices but will also act as a deterrent for people using heavy vehicles needlessly.
Price petrol differently for different users some parties do need SUVs like medical services, tourism related companies, charitable trusts etc. they should get petrol at a different rate so that they do not suffer due to high petrol prices
Impose congestion tax people taking their vehicles to busy places in the center of the city for example Connaught Place in Delhi should be made to pay a tax per day or take non-petrol vehicles like electric cars inside those zones. Something like this is already in place in London. There can be exceptions created for people living in those zones or working there.
The funds thus generated can be used for subsidies
Electric vehicles should be made free of all taxes so that people switch to them as cheap alternatives to fuel guzzling automobiles.
Government should air propoganda in favour of non-petrol vehicles and describe the advantages for the environment
Like liquor adverts automobile adverts should be banned on TV I have seen a lot of people who cannot afford cars, buying the same on expensive EMIs just because media has subconsciously made people believe that they are paupers if they do not own the car. You will protest that Indians always believed that even before electronic media came, agreed to a certain extent but electronic media has reinforced and sealed that belief because it survives on revenues mainly by telecom companies and automobile companies the government must step in and do something about this.

I apologize for taking up your time but I felt I must express these ideas which were churning themselves inside my brain since a long time but of course like you I too understand that nothing will happen till it is too late for both of us because in Bollywood movie Mohra, hope I remember this correctly, a corrupt cop says "Aadhi zindagi nikal gayi padh ke police officer banne mein abha kya aadhi gawan doon choron ko pakadne mein" translated would mean "Half of my life I spent in studying to be a police office now no one can expect me to spend the other half chasing criminals"

No comments:

Post a Comment