The price of petrol too shot up to Rs 82.35. But it is still off its all-time high of Rs 83.62 on September 14, 2013.
“We are being pushed to the wall, with the price of diesel escalating every day. Now, it has crossed the Rs 70-mark and this could have a cascading effect,” said Bal Malkit Singh of All India Motor Transport Congress.
He said 65% of the operational costs for a transporter constituted diesel cost. “It is slow poison which is killing the transport industry. We will have no option but to go on strike if the situation does not normalise soon,” he threatened.
The association has demanded a cut in excise duty and other taxes to provide relief to transporters. “The excise duty is around 22-23% while the total taxes paid on fuel are around 43%. We demand that as a relief to thousands of transporters, the excise duty on diesel be cut and the prices brought down.”
Another transporter from Bombay Goods Transport Association, who did not wish to be named, said the increase in diesel costs will hit the common man. “It will lead to a hike in prices of vegetables, fruits and essential commodities. The price of industrial, construction and manufacturing goods will also shoot up; infrastructure projects which depend largely on supply of raw materials will also be hit,” he said. The transporters’ associations have demanded quarterly review of fuel prices across the state.