Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022
Outlook.com
Opinion

Left In The Lurch?

The Communists look frustrated on most fronts but they won't 'bite', for now.

Left In The Lurch?
Jayachandran
Left In The Lurch?
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Let us consider three issues on which Left-Congress relations have been tense: oil prices, FDI and the interest rate on employees’ provident fund (EPF) deposits. The first is the least problematic. Finance minister P. Chidambaram has agreed to bring down taxes on several petro-products by reducing the effective rate of protection given to domestic refiners, so the Left’s grouse has by and large been addressed.

No sane person would blame the government for what has happened: global oil prices are ruling at record levels; India imports close to three-fourth of its requirements of crude oil—most of it from the Gulf; and the NDA government arm-twisted "autonomous" oil companies by preventing them from hiking prices for six months because of the polls. Thus it became impossible to completely insulate the domestic consumer from the oil price shock except to cushion the impact slightly by cutting taxes.

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