October 20, 2006

Petrol Prices and Pune

Andrew Samwick of Vox Baby, is intereted in raising the Gas Tax in the United States, becuase he cites that the US has one of the lowest Gas Taxes in the world. Link

Now I'm here in India, and this particular claim doesn't really affect me, but what does comes to mind is that where are the Indian economists, and why aren't their suggestions being used? See, Andrew suggests an increase in tax, but in a revenue-neutral way. The extra income from the taxes should be offset by the income tax. Now this is quite logical, and I'm sure our prime minister, an economist, very well understands it. Then, how come the principle is not used in India.

Is it becuase we are an illetrate nation? Or being exploited doesn't really make us feel bad anymore?

I don't consider myself very old (well I'm 24, not too young but not too old either), but I'm old enough to remember that a litre of petrol used to cost Rs 20 at a time, today it costs Rs 55 in Pune, where I stay. Surprisingly, the cost of petrol here in Delhi, where I'm vacationing, is Rs 45.

When the infrastructure of Pune can in no way compare to that in Delhi (for example, Pune has non-existant roads while Delhi has smooth six laners), why does the government in Pune charge an extra Rs 10 per LITRE.

When I come home from office, I drive on a battered road no matter which direction I go. After every two months, I pay an additional grand on my bike, because the bad roads screw it up. Still I pay Rs 10/litre more than citizens of any other state in India.

The real question is that if I can do anything about it. Throw out the government in the next elections, you might say. But no, I can't even do that. To get to vote in a particular constituency, I need to be a resident for atleast five years in that area. Now I haven't been able to manage tht in twnety four years, so I can't vote in Delhi where my parents stay, nor can I vote in Pune where I stay.

Now since it is not possible for me to take part in the democracy, is it possible for me to opt out of it? Hell, no, you tell me. But we need a way don't we? Or atleast Tax benifits...