Petrol prices chain mail

A brand new chain-mail has started doing the rounds. It goes like this:

Petrol in Pakistan Rs17 per litr
Malaysia Rs 18 per litr
In Indiait’s 48 per litr 
Why this difference in Asia itself ? World Market CRUDE Oil is not
the reason for this. It’s all Gain for private owners? As we are the
general public, or Common Man as R.K.Laxman wud hv said, we have to
raise our voice, let’s raise thru Emails.
[blah… blah… blah…]

And then it goes on to ask people to not use petrol on a particular day. Curiously, some mails forwarded to me give this date as May 22, while some others have a much later target – September 22. As is my habit, I always research the subject of a chain mail. As a matter of fact, everyone should. It takes as much time to google the topic, as it does to forward the mail to everyone on your contact list.
So, here goes..

  • The price of Petrol in Pakistan, as reported in The Daily Times of Pakistan is Rs.57, not Rs.17 as reported in the chain mail.
  • A nice comparison of global petrol prices is given on this site. Turns out the prices of petrol in India are closer to the median, much lower than those in Europe, and higher than countries like Malaysia, Pakistan and even US.

Similar chain letters have been circulating in the US, and as explained here, they are all humbug.
So, if you get this letter in your inbox, BREAK THE CHAIN.


The Legal Immigrants

The topic of legislation of illegal immigrants is taking up a bulk of the airwaves on radio these days, particularly on NPR. The public radio has also had a series of reports from Jennifer Ludden about various aspects of immigration — legal and illegal. Hearing about people talking in favor of and against Mexican labor always made me wonder — what about the legal immigrants, who come in the front door, but have to struggle through a long winded process of “legalization” i.e., the coveted green card.
Sure enough, the last report in the series from Jennifer was about the H1B-holders waiting for their green cards, and wondering how long a wait is too long. Read about the report here, and listen to it here. As expected, the report mostly features Indian skilled workers, and their advocates. There is a link to non profit organization Immigration Voice too, on the NPR page. Check it out!