×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

After fuel tax jolt, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah to discuss bus fare hike

Bus fares were last revised in 2020, except BMTC that has not seen a revision since 2015.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 21:28 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said he would hold talks with the transport department on whether or not bus fares need an upward revision, while hinting that it was overdue. 

“Do you know when bus fares were last hiked? The proposal isn’t before us now, but I need to discuss this with the (transport) department,” Siddaramaiah told a news conference. 

Bus fares were last revised in 2020, except BMTC that has not seen a revision since 2015.  

Siddaramaiah defended his government’s move to hike tax on fuel even as the Opposition BJP staged statewide protests against the decision.

“After the introduction of GST, state governments lost the freedom to increase revenues. We only have fuel, liquor, stamp duties and motor vehicles,” Siddaramaiah said. “From the 14th Finance Commission to the 15th Finance Commission, Karnataka suffered a loss of Rs 1.87 lakh crore. Our tax share and grants-in-aid decreased. Not a single BJP MP spoke out against this,” he said. 

The Opposition BJP should protest against the union government, Siddaramaiah argued. “When Narendra Modi became PM in 2014, the price of petrol was  Rs 72.26 per litre. In June 2024 it costs Rs 104. Diesel went from Rs 57.78 to Rs 92.12,” Siddaramaiah said.

“In June 2014, the central excise duty on petrol was Rs 9.48. It became Rs 32.98 in May 2020. On diesel, it was Rs 3.56, but rose to Rs 31.83. Why didn’t the BJP, which claims to be pro-poor and pro-people, protest against this?” he said. 

Siddaramaiah said fuel prices should drop if crude oil becomes cheaper in the international market. “But in India, the opposite happened,” he said. “In June 2014, crude oil was $109.05 a barrel and petrol was Rs 72.26 a litre. In June 2024, crude oil is at $82.35, but petrol is Rs 104.21. 

When Manmohan Singh was PM, Siddaramaiah said the cost of one gas cylinder was Rs 410. “It reached Rs 1,100. Now, even after a reduction, the cost is Rs 805.50. Who did this?” he said. 

The government expects to raise Rs 3,000 cr from the hike in fuel tax, Siddaramaiah said. “The money will be used for the state’s development,” he said. “We didn’t (hike fuel tax) because we don’t have money to pay salaries. At the same time, I’m not saying Karnataka is brimming with wealth.” 

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 17 June 2024, 21:28 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT