In the last one month there has been turmoil and chaos in the stock markets around the world. In India, we have had our fair share of uncertainty and despondency. Three weeks ago, Brent crude was quoted at $ 123 / barrel and our Oil Marketing Companies (O.M.C.s) were screaming blue murder.
One C.E.O. kept telling anyone who would listen that his O.M.C. was losing Rs. 8 / litre of petrol, Rs. 14 / litre of diesel, Rs. 35 / litre of kerosene andRs. 505 on every domestic L.P.G. has cylinder. The finance minster was going berserk because the oil subsidy was up to Rs. 140,000 crore this year and something needs to be done.
The prime minister, finance minister and the petroleum minister all said, “We must bite the bullet.” The defence minister did his best to keep a straight face in the house as these 3 gentlemen pontificated in parliament for the benefit of the media. He was privy to a defence secret he was not willing to share. The retiring Chief of Army Staff had told him that his jawans were issued blanks because of a shortage of bullets. “What can you expect from an army that even got my Date of Birth wrong?” he cried.
However, in Bharat, economics is one thing and politics is quite another overriding parametre. So now they have only managed to jack-up the price of petrol. So what happened to the ‘bullet-biting’ exercise promised earlier? As usual, they had their excuses.
The P.M. said, “Mrs. Kaur did not want the aam admi to suffer so she hid my dentures. What was I to do?” As usual, it sounded like he was speaking from behind a petticoat.
The petroleum minister gave some lame excuse about misplacing his crutches. Besides, he did not want to cripple our diesel-based transport system. Empathy is a strong emotion.
The finance minister said that after his stint as President of India, he wanted to retire back home in Calcutta. He did not want to see his retirement home burned-down by the Marxist and T.M.C. mobs. Owners of Bullet 500s are feeling the bite.