Condemning the railway freight tariff increase, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday demanded a roll back as the increase would have a cascading impact on the prices of essential commodities.
Describing the Centre’s decision as adding fuel to fire, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the increase had come at a time when frequent hikes in petroleum product prices were fuelling inflation.
The upward revision in the freight tariff would only accelerate inflation, affect the country’s economy and add to the burden of the people.
In a statement, the Chief Minister said besides the prices of essential commodities the tariff increase would also make key inputs for industries – cement, coal and iron – expensive.
A rise in the construction material cost would translate into more financial burden for those building houses.
The price of food products was witnessing a continuous increase.
Ms. Jayalalithaa also criticised the dynamic pricing policy of the Centre, as part of which the tariff was determined based on the ‘busy’ and ‘lean’ season.
Such a classification was not justified as all months were alike so far as railway freight was concerned.