Fuel Price Hike Burns A Hole In Pockets

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New Delhi: No soon than the government declared increase in petrol and diesel prices, private bus operators clarified that they have no option but to increase their fares by nearly 25 to 30 per cent from June.

On Monday, petrol was sold at Rs 76.24 per litre in Delhi, Rs 84.07 per litre in Mumbai, Rs 79.13 in Chennai and Rs 78.91in Kolkata. While diesel was sold at Rs 67.82 per litre, Rs 70.37 per litre, Rs 72.21 per litre and Rs 71.59 per litre respectively. “In the last two years, fuel prices have gone up from Rs 40 to Rs 84. It is getting very difficult for us to maintain the existing rates and so we are likely to hike fares by 25-30 per cent,” said Harsh Kotak, general secretary of the Mumbai Bus Malak Sanghatana.

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There are around 33,000 private buses in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region that also includes 13,000 buses operating in Mumbai. These buses mainly ferry domestic and foreign tourists.

Several corporate companies hire the private operators to transport their employees as well, even schools hire these private bus operators to ferry students. Not to forget small groups that hire private buses for family outings and functions.

If one thought travelling will become costlier then even eating out could be in question.

Hoteliers said that their businesses will get affected as the surge in fuel prices will force people to spend less on leisure and eating out. “When fuel hike affects the prices of vegetables and fruits then we are forced to increase food cost on our menu,” said Santosh Shetty, president of the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association.

Sources said that transportation is a major concern and any hike in fuel prices will directly affect the end prices of raw material.