International oil prices have been plummeting for some time now, but that hasn't exactly translated into significantly cheaper fuel in India. This is because the Union government has adopted the approach of steadily raising excise duty on petrol and diesel to increase its revenue, thus nullifying the effect of cheaper oil. As a result, the benefit of dropping oil prices has not been passed on to the consumer.
On Monday, already peeved consumers were given a fresh cause for complaint.
Over the past fortnight, the price of oil has fallen by $4 a barrel. In keeping with that trend, the scheduled fuel price revision should have seen prices cut by at least Re 1 per litre for both petrol and diesel. But for the third time in a month, the government on Sunday decide to raise excise duty on the eve of the fortnightly fuel price revision, due on Monday.
In the end, the price of petrol was reduced by 4 paise per litre for petrol and 3 paise per litre for diesel. The measly price cut invited plenty of criticism on social media, as users wondered what they would do with all the money they stood to save.
Here's a selection: