Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has demanded a change in the Union government’s policy of ‘aiding oil companies by destroying public sector utilities such as the Kerala State Road Transport Department (KSRTC).’
In a statement here on Wednesday, he said the Attorney-General, who appeared on behalf of the oil companies in a case relating to the continuation of subsidy for the diesel consumed by the KSRTC, had argued before the Supreme Court that the decision to withdraw the subsidy had come from the Union government and therefore the court should not interfere in the matter. The Attorney-General’s argument in the court clearly meant that the Union government should be directly held responsible for the court verdict that would force the KSRTC pay a much higher cost than at present on fuel. The very existence of the KSRTC was now in danger.
He urged the United Democratic Front government in the State to exert pressure on the Congress-led government at the Centre for a change in the petroleum policy. The State government should also consider waiving the tax on diesel consumed by the KSRTC to save the public utility from ruin.
In a separate statement, A.A. Azeez, president of the United Trade Union Congress, also asked the government to take urgent steps to persuade the Union government to change its petroleum policy, besides filing a review petition in the Supreme Court against the judgment that had gone against the KSRTC.
The Democratic Youth Federation of India, in another statement, said it would organise demonstrations at all district headquarters seeking steps to save the KSRTC.