Thanks to the ECC of the Cabinet for taking decisions that would further make the life of the poor miserable. Three-phased formula being introduced through a notification would make people pay more for petrol and high speed diesel. They have not yet recovered from the shocks of recent price raises in petroleum products, 13.55 per cent in gas and now they are being told to get ready to sustain another price hike in September, October and November. The ECC has, for reasons not known to general public, approved the increase in margin of oil marketing companies (OMCs) and dealers in petrol and diesel. The Ministry of Oil and Gas has, in addition, sought imposition of Rs 5 per kg on CNG and Rs 10 per kg on LPG as levy which the ECC has deferred. It appears the ECC has raised the commission of OMCs only to ensure that they do not indulge in black marketing and creating artificial shortage. Thus, the commission on petrol goes up by Rs 0.48 per litre, diesel Rs 0.41 while for dealers the increase on petrol is Rs 0.50 and diesel Rs 0.70. The painful aspect is that the government on the one hand is raising prices to implement IMF policies, on the other it is taxing the poor masses to please companies and dealers. The end game is that consumers are being driven to the wall.