We are concerned about the state of your vocal chords, after your recent exertions of that organ protesting against the nth rise in the price of petrol that the Indian government announced a few days ago. While we are well aware of your superhuman powers in that sphere of activity, I am nevertheless concerned enough to give you some advice on the amelioration of stress on your voice box. I am not one of your subjects, not living in your state at the moment, but have lived there in the past and therefore have a certain affinity.
What has aroused your ire is the increase in price of petrol by Rs 1.80 per litre a few days ago. You have accused the Central government of total insensitivity to the plight of the common man and have threatened to withdraw your support to the government. With inflation running so high in India, you are justly concerned with adding fuel to the fire, if you'll pardon the pun.I totally agree with your sentiments, but my ire is not necessarily directed only against the Central government.
I understand if I have to fill up my tank in your state, I have to pay Rs 73.15 per litre. That being a fairly substantial price, I decided to do some calculation on who gets what I am paying. Here's my amateur attempt.
I pay Rs 32.00 per litre to His Excellency King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia to keep him and his descendants in cosseted luxury for the next 7000 years (otherwise called price of crude oil)
I pay Rs 7.00 to Mr R. S Butola , Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation, for him to stay solvent , pun intended, (otherwise called refining charges)
I pay Rs 5.00 to Santa Singh , lorry driver (otherwise called transport charges). I don't begrudge paying him this in return for all the Sardarji jokes that he has, very kindly, contributed.
I pay Rs 14.35 to the Hon'ble Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister of India (otherwise called Excise duty). To be fair to Pranabda, he has been trying to reduce this, having abolished customs duty that he used to levy before.
I then pay some Rs 15 to you ( under the name of sales tax).
You want to charge me some 26%+ rate of state sales tax. Don't you find it usurious ? Pranabda has been crying to states to remove the ad valorem rate of duty on petrol and make it a specific rate, as he has done on the Central VAT. You refuse to do this. Therefore when the central government increased the price of petrol by Rs 1.80, you gleefully contributed another 50 paise of increase. And with a straight face, you are giving significant exercise to your vocal chords.
You may now see the general direction of how you can prevent the onset of acute laryngitis.
I have only one argument in your defence. Your counterpart in the state I live in, is worse than you (30%). But then, he has wisely chosen to give his vocal chords a rest !
Romesh (spelling in deference to your tastes)