Indian workers have staged protests to voice their anger at the government’s decision to propose a hike in the prices of diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders, Press TV reports. Workers of the main opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party clashed with police in New Delhi and other opposition parties have called for a general strike on September 20. Opposition parties have expressed worries that the 10 percent rise in diesel prices would fuel inflation which is reportedly at around 8 percent.
The increase in diesel fuel has also led to a 15 percent hike in transportation charges and is expected to impact the prices of essential consumer goods including vegetables and other food items as well.“Hiking Diesel by 5 rupees [is] never heard [of] in the history of the country and putting a cap on the cylinder of the LPD gas is anti-people measure because it costs 746 rupees for each cylinder. For a common man with limited salary to bear this burden is not possible,” Venkaiah Naidu, leader of the Bharatiya Junta Party, told Press TV. The Indian government raised the diesel prices on September 13 aiming to counter the threat of becoming the first of the big emerging economies to have its credit rating downgraded to junk. As anger grows across the country, experts say it is the middle class and the poor that will be affected the most and it now remains to be seen if the government would order any roll back in the fuel prices. TNP/JR