Abjure panic and populism on fuels

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  Abjure panic and populism on fuels

Crude oil prices are again on the boil, and the retail prices of petrol and diesel are at record levels, due to taxes and levies(एकत्र करना/वसूल करना). Reducing(छूट/कमी) these straightaway to bring down retail prices is a sore temptation(प्रलोभन), but the government should not give in to it. Retail taxes and cess form a very significant part of budgetary resources(संसाधन) and a sudden(अचानक ) drop in these imposts(लगाया गया) would widen the fiscal(राजस्व) deficit(घाटा), raise central borrowings(उधारी/ऋण पर ली गई रकम) and step up inflation(मुद्रा-विस्तार).The way forward is for the Centre to continue with the current regime in which oil marketing companies calibrate prices on a daily basis.

In tandem, the government should open up the retail market, providing open access to transport and storage infrastructure(आधारिक संरचना,), so that competition(प्रतियोगिता) would take the flab(निकलना) out of the retail business. There’s also a sound case for rationalising(सिद्ध करना/तार्किक आधार पर उचित बताना) taxes, duties and cess on petrol and diesel, should crude prices flare up or the rupee depreciates(मूल्य कम करना/क़ीमत घटा देना ) further(अधिक/आगे बढ़ाना). The global crude market is expected to remain tight, with supply reduced or uncertain(परिवर्तनशील/अनिश्‍चित) and demand buoyant(प्रसन्नचित्त/बहता हुआ) in China and India.The fact remains that retail oil demand nationally is rising fast, and oil imports have indeed increased the current account deficit lately. It is another reason to avoid any hasty reduction in retail oil taxes, which is more likely to fuel consumption(खपत/सेवन) demand and raise crude imports.India is now the third-largest oil importer(आयात करनेवाला) but our market design for retail petro-products is archaic(प्राचीन/पुरातन) and segregated(अलग) from the larger retail industry. Abroad, independent retailers are able to gainfully garner about half the retail oil market, with better efficiencies(क्षमता/निपुणता) and attractive pricing. India, too, must realise this potential and spur competition in fuel retail. We also need to modernise and broad-base our indirect taxes regime and not rely so heavily on oil.

 

 

Important Vocabulary

 

1.Temptation(प्रलोभन),
Synonyms: allurement,appeal, attractiveness, bait, blandishment
Antonyms: dislike, hate, hatred, prevention, discouragement

2.Borrowings(उधारी/ऋण पर ली गई रकम)
Synonyms: financing, renting, accepting a loan
Antonyms: loaning

3.Archaic(प्राचीन/पुरातन)
Synonyms: ancient, antiquated, obsolete, old-fashioned, outmoded
Antonyms: contemporary, current, in vogue, modern, new

4.Segregated(अलग)
Synonyms: isolated, restricted, excluded, separated, discriminative

5.Efficiencies(क्षमता/निपुणता)
Synonyms: ability, adaptability, capability, competence, energy
Antonyms: idleness, ignorance, impotence, inability, inadequacy


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