Expressing Kerala‚Äôs displeasure over the recurrent hike in fuel charges in the country, the state Minister for Transport, AK Saseendran, wrote a letter to the Centre on Saturday. According to reports, Saseendran said that it is condemnable that the Centre is hiking fuel charges every day despite the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
The country witnessed a hike in petrol and diesel prices for eight consecutive days on Sunday. Petrol price was hiked by 62 paise per litre and 64 paise for diesel on Sunday.
In the letter to Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, AK Saseendran pointed out that India was increasing the fuel prices when the crude oil prices in the international market were declining, reports The Times of India. He also added that the Centre should urge oil companies to reduce the prices and that the Centre should decrease the excise tax on petrol and diesel, as per the reduction in prices in the international market.
The minister also stated that the continuous hike in fuel charge has severely affected the public and transport sector of the state.
The private bus operators are one of the worst-hit sections in Kerala due to the fuel hike. Though the state government had increased the minimum charges for private buses from Rs 8 to Rs 12 on the demand of bus operators following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kerala High Court recently quashed this temporary order.
Until Sunday, the price of petrol and diesel across various Indian cities and states had increased by Rs 2-4 per litre on an average. The diesel and petrol price in Kerala, as on Sunday, is Rs 70.74 and Rs 76.24 respectively. On June 1, the prices stood at Rs 67.17 and Rs 72.99 for diesel and petrol respectively.
The government has secured close to Rs 2 lakh crore in additional revenues from the March 14 and May 6 hike in excise duty. In total, the excise duty on petrol has risen to Rs 32.98 per litre and Rs 31.83 for diesel. When the BJP-led government came to power in 2014, the excise tax on petrol was Rs 9.48 per litre and diesel was Rs 3.56 a litre.