Karnataka: Truckers, cabbies say no option but to pass fuel hike burden on customers

Every day nearly 40 lakh litres of diesel were filled up in Karnataka’s petrol pumps.
Representative Image
Representative Image(Photo | Martin Louis, EPS)

BENGALURU: Strongly opposing the hike in fuel price, cab and truck operators said this will severely affect the travel and logistics industry. If the state government doesn’t roll back the hike, the operators may have to revise the travel tariffs and have no option, but to pass on the cost to the customers.

GR Shanmugappa, president, Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners’ and Agents’ Association, said, “Every day, more than 40,000 trucks pass through Karnataka. As the cost of fuel was low in the state, truckers from neighbouring states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu used to fill up their tanks here as the price difference was nearly Rs 7 per litre.

Every day nearly 40 lakh litres of diesel were filled up in Karnataka’s petrol pumps. In this way, the government was earning a tax revenue of Rs 10 crore per day and now the state will lose nearly Rs 3,000 crore this year in tax.”

With the sudden hike in petrol and diesel prices, all outstation vehicles will now fill fuel in their respective states as the difference is now around Rs 1-2 per litre, he said. “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has been misguided and not updated about the losses the state would incur in tax because of this fuel hike.”

Apart from loss in fuel tax revenue, Shanmugappa said the fuel hike will have a cascading effect on the cost of essential goods. If the the hike is not rolled back, the cost of all essential goods, from fruits, vegetables and food grains, will go up steadily burdening the people.

K Radhakrishna Holla, president, Karnataka State Travel Operators’ Association, said hiking the fuel prices right in the middle of the year is not acceptable. “We serve corporates and we would have agreed in the contract with them to operate cabs for a specific rate. With this sudden hike, we have to bear the expenses as the rates cannot be revised mid-year.”

Those operating taxis and maxi-cabs will have no option but to transfer the price hike burden on to their customers. At a time when the tourism sector is gaining momentum after being severely hit due to Covid, the price hike will further affect the tourism industry, Holla said.

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