While welcoming the State government’s steps to tackle price rise, the committee felt that the prices of these commodities need to be brought down further.

A meeting of the high power committee of the United Democratic Front (UDF) here on Tuesday decided to send a delegation to Delhi to brief the Prime Minister and other Central Ministers about the grave crisis the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is facing and to register the State’s protest against the Union government’s decision to classify road transport corporations (RTCs) and Railways as bulk consumers of diesel.

The UDF meeting also made it clear that it differed with the Central government stand on the diesel prices and the classification of RTCs and Railways as bulk consumers and charge higher rates since a large section of the population depended on these modes of transportation. The UDF wanted the Centre to cancel its decision.

Addressing a press conference here, UDF convener P.P. Thankachan said the delegation would leave for Delhi soon. The Rs.28-crore assistance extended to the KSRTC by the State government was a temporary measure, for two months, and the coalition leaders sincerely believed that the Centre’s controversial decision would be withdrawn by that time. In case the delegation failed to achieve its aim, the UDF high power committee wanted the State government to make alternative arrangements.

No cancelling schedules

Mr. Thankachan made it clear that no scheduled services of the KSRTC would be cancelled.

The UDF committee also reviewed the current prices of rice and other essential commodities. While welcoming the State government’s steps to tackle price rise, the committee felt that the prices of these commodities need to be brought down further. The meeting entrusted the Chief Minister, Finance Minister, Civil Supplies Minister and the Cooperation Minister with the task of constantly reviewing the price situation.

Mr. Thankachan said that UDF wanted the Centre and the State government to take steps to restore LPG subsidy for orphanages.

Vacancies

The meeting asked the Education Minister to expedite the selection of Vice-Chancellors and the Devaswom Minister to fill the vacancies in the Malabar, Kochi and Koodalmanikyam Devaswom Boards, besides appointing the members to the Travancore Devaswom Board.

Mr. Thankachan said the UDF meeting had reviewed the drought situation and recommended early action to tackle the shortage in drinking water in view of the approaching summer.

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