Finance Minister K.M. Mani on Friday criticised the decision to increase diesel price and termed it as ‘condemnable.’ The decision would seriously affect the economy and would add to the economic burden of the State, he said in a statement here.

The Minister said that even though the Centre had effected only a 50-paise increase in diesel price, the total increase would work out to 60 paise when the tax component was also added.

KSRTC hit

The price hike had already affected the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) adversely because of the higher price it had to pay for diesel on account of being a bulk consumer.

The KSRTC would have to incur an additional burden of Rs.181 crore annually.

The hike in diesel price would also lead to an all-round price increase.

The Kerala Congress(M) shares the apprehensions of the common man on the consequent price spiral the move would trigger off, he said.

Review proposal: VS

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has said that the problems faced by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) were the best example of the adverse impact of the Central government’s decision to decontrol the price of diesel.

In a statement here, Mr. Achuthanandan said the KSRTC would have to pay Rs.11.50 per litre additionally on account of being classified as bulk consumer.

The unjustified increase would lead to the closure of the KSRTC, which, in effect, would demolish the public transport system in the State, he said.

He wanted the Centre to re-examine its proposal to increase diesel prices and the State government to put pressure on the Centre to exempt the KSRTC from the current increase.

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