Adding insult to injury

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As people face severe economic crisis in the wake of prolonged lockdown necessitated by the spread of Covid-19, the government has increased the rate of tax on petrol and diesel in Jammu and Kashmir troubling the troubled lot more. In the backdrop of lockdown, almost all the economic activities in J&K, like rest of the country, have nosedived. From daily earners to entrepreneurs and from agriculturists to orhardists, every section of the society is face to face with dire economic depression. Every new day is a fight of survival for majority of the people in Jammu and Kashmir. People are struggling to make both ends meet and to manage filling the bellies of their families. All the economic activities have stopped. People are in deep crisis. With every passing day their savings, whatever these be, are getting exhausted with no clue of fresh earnings. Every section of the society is suffering. Daily earners, transporters, small time shopkeepers, vendors, houseboat and shikara pullers, pony wallas – all are suffering. And amid these sufferings, the people are looking towards the government with the hope that it may come up with some relief package to support them survive in these trying times.

However, the government, it seems, is least concerned about the suffering masses. Had it not been so, it would not have added insult to the injury by hiking the prices of petrol and diesel. Unmindful of peoples’ troubles, the government in Jammu and Kashmir has increased the rate of tax on sale of petrol and diesel by Rs. 2 per litre and Rs 1 per litre respectively. When people are desperately looking for relief, the government has overburdened them with these new prices. It goes without saying that hike in the prices of petrol and diesel subsequently results into the hike in the prices of all essential commodities. Jammu and Kashmir is a consumer society. With the increase in prices of petrol and diesel, the transportation charges will go up and so will be the rates of eatables. Either the government is completely insensitive to the sufferings of its people or it is too naïve to understand that by hiking the prices of these two items, they are making ground for the hike in the prices of all commodities. Now that the decision have been made and, in our part of the world, the governments rarely take back the bad decisions, one would expect the government machinery to keep a close eye on the market and try to ensure that prices of the essential commodities don’t skyrocket.

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