The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is in for more trouble as the latest hike in diesel prices will entail an additional burden of Rs.7.5 lakh a day on the corporation, Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed has said.
Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, he said the corporation cannot afford to go on this way. The next Cabinet meeting will discuss the matter, he said.
The State was yet to decide on sourcing fuel from retail outlets as done by private bus operators. Mr. Mohammed, trade union sources said, had agreed in-principle to the idea though it was unlikely that the State would do anything against the Union government’s diktat to public sector undertakings to source diesel as ‘bulk consumers,’ paying more than Rs.11 extra per litre on the retail cost.
Union Minister for Petroleum M. Veerappa Moily had said public sector companies such as KSRTC should not source fuel from retail outlets. The State government would meet trade unions on Monday to discuss the situation.
Aryadan must quit: VS
Special Correspondent writes from Thiruvananthapuram: Coming down heavily on the diesel price hike, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan said the Transport Minister must resign if had any sincerity about the fate of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC).
In a statement here on Saturday, Mr. Achuthanandan asked Mr. Mohammed to join the Left in fighting the Centre’s policies, which had resulted in frequent increase in the prices of petroleum products. Although the government had promised Rs. 28 crore to the KSRTC for two months, the money had not been transferred. The current dose of diesel price hike had come on top of this, he pointed out.
In a separate statement, the CPI(M) State secretariat pointed out that the this was the 20 diesel price hike and called upon all sections of people to raise their voice against the Centre’s policy of allowing the oil marketing companies to raise prices of petroleum products as they pleased.
The CITU State committee also came down on the fuel price hike and termed it a challenge against the people of the country. In another statement, RSP State secretary A.A.Aziz said the frequent increase in fuel prices would lead to total anarchy in the country. The Joint Action Council of Motor Transport Workers said workers in the transport sector in the State would go on strike from midnight of February 19.