Fuel prices in the country have been touching new highs. On January 18, the price of petrol touched an all-time high at Rs 91.56 a litre, diesel at Rs 81.87 a litre. Today, they have risen even further to Rs 91.90 and Rs 82.13 per litre respectively. The rapid rise has have riled all-India truckers association, All India Motor Transport Congress.
In an official statement released by the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), the association has said the high fuel prices are a “historical blunder in the making by the government.” The apex body represents around 7.5 million truckers and transporters, 4 million bus operators, 1.6 lakh goods transport companies and 2,500 Taluka District and State level federations and Transport associations.
AIMTC's Bal Malkit Singh: "The government is taking undue advantage of the vulnerability of consumers."
Bal Malkit Singh, chairman-core committee and former president, All India Motor Transport Congress said, “The government is taking undue advantage of the vulnerability of consumers. They bluntly refuse to lower the fuel prices when international crude oil prices plummeted. The Central government increased excise duty and state governments their VAT, making fuel as highly taxed commodity in the world. Now when the crude oil prices are increasing, the government is crying hoarse about de-control pricing regime, making a utter fool of the citizens of the country.”
Malkit Singh added that the situation is fast getting out of control. He said, “The high cost of diesel prices is taking a toll of small operators. If this is not checked, a strong action seems imminent.”
AIMTC has convened an emergency meeting to decide on the further course of action and take on the crisis head-on with the government.
According to Singh, the situation is especially bad for small transporters, who along with low capacity utilisation have to now contend with rising fuel prices.