Skyrocketing gasoline prices were burning pockets in India, but no respite was in sight as precious cash went to fund the world’s largest vaccination drive.

India has so far delivered 960 million doses, mostly free to the poor, who were hit the hardest by the pandemic.

But former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha ignited a high-octane debate as gasoline prices jumped up for the 10th time this month.

India jacked up the prices 50 times between January and July. But PKD Nambiar, a pro-government analyst argued someone has to pay the bills.

“Indians were paying more taxes than the actual product”, added R.S. Pandey, a former petroleum ministry secretary as motorists stared at filling stations in growing dismay.

Experts say India, one of the top consumers, was well in position to negotiate with oil-producing countries and hammer down import costs.

COVID-19 Pandemic | India expands vaccination drive: