Even as a hike in petrol and diesel prices becomes near certain due to the rising in crude oil prices, 42% of the respondents of an online survey said they can't tolerate another increase in fuel prices without a cut in discretionary spending. Among them, 24% said they have already cut discretionary spending and are on the edge. One in every two respondents also commented that their earnings and savings are both going to dip during 2022.

It found that only 22% of the respondents believe they can tolerate another fuel price increase in the short term. Conducted by community social media platform LocalCircles, the online survey reached out to over 27,000 households located in over 361 districts of India.

To the question how much of a fuel price increase can customers afford, 9% of the respondents said "up to 20%", 7% said "up to 10%" and 16% said "Up to 5%", the survey results say. Similarly, only 35% said their earnings will stay the same while 4% see them rising. Only 11% of respondents said their savings will increase.

Among the respondents, 6% said they expect their earnings to reduce by 50% or more this year due to a host of reasons including Covid-19 effect, geopolitical situations and the state of business and employment opportunities in general. Another 6% said it could be reduced by 25-50%.

LocalCircles said 66% of the respondents were men and the rest, women. While 42% respondents were from tier 1 cities, 34% came from tier 2 and 24% respondents from tier 3, 4 and rural districts of the country.

The petrol and diesel prices have not been revised since the central government reduced the excise duty on the two fuels in November 2021. Several states had also reduced tax on fuel to reduce the burden of high prices. It is expected that once the elections to the five state assemblies are over, the government may permit oil companies to revise the prices as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis has driven crude oil prices up.

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