Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Protest over hike in fuel prices?

Leftist parties in India protest over hike in fuel prices. They oppose the anti-people increase in price and demand a complete rollback of prices.

Its so disappointing to read news like that. Why should state-owned oil companies pay the market price and sell the general public at a subsidized price? How is rolling back prices a pro-people measure, when it is going to bite back in the ass, when staterun oil companies go bankrupt after a period of time owing to the dead-weight of subsidizing market prices?

Accept the fact: Oil is scarce and scarce is always costly. State-run oil companies are not brewing oil in their kitchens. Its imported and every darn country in the world is paying a price and fighting for reserves and resources.

Subsidizing market prices has disastarous effects not just on oil companies, but on society in general. Consumers do not know the real market price, so the usual price check on consumption doesnt work. The incentive to develop fuel-efficient technologies is taken-off from the automobile industry. The incentive to develop efficient public transportation systems, alternate fuel sources and bunch of related stuff...is just off the hook! Its a golden opportunity to be a leader in such technologies in the developing world and the left parties want to throw it away!

Whats even more depressing is the fact that, none of the Indian Media seem to question the protest. All they seem to do is an as-is reporting saying 'so and so party protests in such and such state'.

"Why so?", "So What?", "How sensible is your protest?".......no such questions attached.

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