The fuel protests in France

The Gilets jaunes protests is a movement in France, that began on 17th November 2018 against tax on fuel price. The citizens dressed in “yellow vests” blocked roads and caused traffic chaos.

Initially people protested by blocking roads, fuel depots and railway lines. The interior ministry was worried over the unorganised protests, so permission was granted for people to assemble on the fields below the Eiffel Tower.

Close to 100,000 lakh people were spotted around the areas of Eiffel Tower to protests. It turned violent as the protestors lit fires on streets, tore down signs, built barricades and pulled up paving stones.

The police resorted to tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters. Two people killed and 750 people were left injured. Paris might have to spend €1.5 million to repair the damages.

The fluctuating oil prices in the international market, and the rise in tax by the Government incited the people.

If the price of fuel is broken down, taxes make make up 60% of the total price. Tax was increased by 7.6 cents per Liter on diesel and 3.9 cents on petrol this year, the next increase of 6.5 cents on diesel and 2.9 cents on petrol is planned on 1 January 2019.

The government says they plan to use the extra revenue in eco-friendly projects that fight climate change.

~ In India

The Governments at the centre and the states amask huge revenue by taxing fuel. The taxes in India double the price of fuel, if you strip the taxes off, the costs of petrol stands at ₹40/litre and with taxes the retail price of petrol is nearly ₹80/litre.

The governments are highly dependent on taxes from petrol and diesel. Due to fluctuating oil prices globally, the central and some state governments reduced the tax percentage. However consecutive governments in every budget session propose new taxation on oil products.

India had witnessed multiple price rise protests during the UPA regime, but this government (NDA) hasn’t seen any.

Most of the media outlets have moved away from debating real issues due to the ‘TRP’ factor, and its nexus with the regime.