Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala cabinet on Wednesday asked the Centre to withdraw its decision to deregulate prices of diesel supplied to bulk consumers of public utility services like state transport corporations and Railways.
The price hike of diesel due to deregulation has come as an additional burden for Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), already facing deep financial crisis, chief minister Oommen Chandy told reporters after cabinet meeting.
“I have already written to prime minister and Union petroleum minister to withdraw the decision. We are waiting for Centre’s response”, Chandy said.
The state could not agree with the Centre’s decision to take away public utility services from the purview of subsidy by deregulating price of diesel, Chandy said, adding, “we are asking the Centre to immediately withdraw its decision”.
Referring to financial crisis faced by KSRTC, he said the corporation was already facing deep crisis. However, the government will not consider the options of fare charge hike and cutting down of schedules as a means to overcome the present crisis, he said.
Transport minister Aryadan Muhammed has been asked to submit a detailed report on the situation in KSRTC, he said, adding, “the government will take further steps after getting the report”.
Following the increase in diesel price, KSRTC had cut down many of its regular services leading to protest from various sections of the society.
Communist Party of India-Marxist, or CPM, veteran and opposition leader in assembly V.S. Achuthanandan criticized the KSRTC’s decision to cut down services and blamed the state and Central governments for the present situation.
“The state government has no time to discuss problems and issues faced by the people”, Achuthanandan told reporters on Wednesday.