Fuel price hike expected to push up cost of essentials
The price of both diesel and petrol have been increasing almost every day in June. While that of diesel has shot up by 13.16%, petrol has increased by 10.69% since June 1 in Bengaluru. This is expected to have an impact on the prices of several commodities, especially foodgrains and other perishables, as the freight rates are only expected to rise.
The Congress is planning to stage a protest on June 29 opposing the hike in fuel prices.
G.R. Shanmugappa, president, Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners and Agents Association, said the freight business had already taken a severe hit with the lockdown and COVID-19. The fuel price hike is only adding to the losses.
“We will be left with no other option but to hike freight rates. The hike in diesel prices is unprecedented, by over 13%, which we cannot absorb. If we hike our rates, it will lead to inflation in the economy. The only way to avoid it is for the Union and State governments to reduce taxes and give a toll holiday for the next six months,” he said. He predicted that unless the government intervenes, prices are expected to go further north.
Traders are already bracing themselves for a Domino effect, which will be reflected in the prices of most essential commodities in the coming weeks.
“The fuel price hike is substantial. We expect a revision of freight rates in the coming week. The prices of most foodgrains and other perishables will shoot up. The quantum of the hike will depend on the hike in freight rates,” said Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, chairman, APMC Committee, Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The prices of vegetables are also expected to rise as many farmers are bearing the burden of bringing their produce to the city.
“With K.R. Market sealed, the vegetable market has been shifted to near Electronics City, which is adding to the transport cost. We expect the prices to shoot up over the next few days,” said a procurement official of a leading retail chain in the city.