Reduced diesel price brings relief to RTCs


But, two-wheeler owners say paying over ₹100 per litre for petrol is hard on them

 

The recent reduction in fuel prices has brought relief to cash-strapped road transport corporations (RTCs). An official with the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) said that the ₹19.47 per litre reduction in the price of diesel will help the corporation save an estimated ₹90 lakh per day.

“Diesel consumption has been gradually increasing after services resumed in June. Earlier, it was 300 kilo litres per day, and now it has gone up to 500 KL depending on bus operations. We are likely to save close to ₹90 lakh per day due to reduced prices,” said the official.

After both the Central and State Governments reduced taxes on fuel, the price of diesel dropped from ₹104.50 per litre to around ₹85. The price are lower for RTCs because they purchase fuel at bulk rates. According to the official, after the revision of rates, RTCs are purchasing fuel at around ₹81 per litre depending on the location.

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) consumes close to 2 lakh litres of diesel a day, and the reduction will help the corporation save ₹38 lakh daily. “After consecutive increases in fuel price, operational expenses increased to ₹65 per kilometre whereas earning per kilometre was around ₹35. The reduction in fuel prices will help us reduce operational expenses to some extent,” said a BMTC official.

For over a year-and-a-half, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the four RTCs in Karnataka have been relying on the State Government to pay salaries.

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Petrol price a burden

While the drop in diesel prices has brought much-needed relief to transport operators, vehicle owners say it will make little impact. The decision of the government to reduce fuel taxes and calling it a ‘Deepavali gift’ did little to impress motorists who have been struggling with the rising cost of fuel and essential commodities.

In a response to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s announcement, Whitefield Rising posted on social media: “Sir, reducing the price by a little after it reached ₹113+ is not a gift. Petrol is still ₹100+. The common man and all of us feel it keenly. Especially after the pandemic when jobs are scarce and the income is tight.”

Many people feel the government’s decision had little to do with their plight, and more with the outcome of the recent by-elections in Sindgi and Hangal.

After reduction of taxes, petrol price has dropped from ₹113.93 to ₹100.63 per litre.

 

Ashwin G. a motorist, said, “Petrol costs more than ₹100 even after the reduction. For common people, who own two-wheelers, spending ₹100 per litre is a huge burden.”

On other hand, retailers are irked by the reduction in fuel prices. Ahead of Deepavali, many retailers had stored additional fuel. They pointed out that the reduction in taxes will result in financial losses for them.



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Sagar Biswas

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