West Bengal: Rising diesel price sets fire to kitchen budgets | Kolkata News

KOLKATA: The diesel price is steadily marching towards the century mark, now costlier by Rs

KOLKATA: The diesel price is steadily marching towards the century mark, now costlier by Rs 20.26 a litre than what it was a year ago. The petrol price crossed Rs 105 and is now costlier by Rs 23 than a year ago. While auto LPG price has touched Rs 57.95 a litre, cooking gas is nearing Rs 1,000 for a 14.2kg domestic cylinder. The sharp rise of fuel prices has set kitchen budgets on fire and resulted in skyrocketing commuting costs.
Diesel is only Rs 3.41 short of Rs 100 a litre. With the public vehicles running on diesel, the transportation of both goods and passengers has become more expensive, thus pushing up the costs of essentials and commute.
“Our commuting cost has increased nearly four-fold. These days buses are fewer on the roads, so we have become dependent on autos and cabs. Now, I have to spend Rs 200 on an average a day. While commuting on the same route, my transportation cost never exceeded Rs 50 a day earlier before the lockdown,” said Anirban Ghatak, a bank employee.
“Considering the current rate of hike, it is likely that the diesel price will touch Rs 100 a litre in the next 15 days, shooting up the prices of everything further. The prices of all essential commodities have seen a spike by more than 50% in the last one year,” said Kamal De, member, Bengal Government Task Force and president, West Bengal Vendors and Farmers Association. Vegetable prices are going up steadily.
In October, the price of 14.2kg domestic cooking gas cylinder stood at a record high of Rs 926, but in Kalimpong, each cylinder is priced at Rs 1,055. In Malda, it is Rs 3 less than Rs 1,000.
“It is only a matter of time until the price goes beyond Rs1,000 mark in the city,” said an oil marketing company (OMC) official.
In the last one year, cooking gas became costlier by Rs 306 while it was Rs 620 on August 1 last year.
“The kitchen budget has not only gone haywire but it is also eating up our family budget. We are forced to cut corners severely with my post retirement income nosediving for successive cuts in the interest of small savings,” said Ashok Ganguly, a retired citizen. “We are constantly on a tight-rope walk. Any small deviation comes with an adverse economic impact. I have stopped using car and bike. The cost of everything has gone up drastically, burning bigger holes in our pockets. If the fuel prices are not controlled, it will be a challenge to run households,” said Ruma Ghosh, a college teacher.