June 09, 2024

AIRTWF Demands Immediate Reduction in Fuel Prices, Criticises Toll Hike

THE All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation (AIRTWF) has issued a press statement on June 3, demanding the Government of India to immediately reduce the prices of petrol, diesel, and gas. The AIRTWF pointed out that the government has lowered the prices of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) while neglecting the financial burdens faced by the common man, highlighting the government's bias towards the affluent.

In a recent move, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) increased toll charges by 5 per cent starting June 3, 2024. The AIRTWF labelled this hike as illegal and exploitative, warning that it would further devastate the road transport sector and ultimately impose additional financial burdens on the public. The federation has called on the government to intervene and revoke the toll increase immediately.

Despite a significant decline in international crude oil prices over the past decade – from $109 per barrel in June 2014 to $81.5 per barrel as of May 31, 2024, with a further lowering to $20 per barrel in March 2020 – the Indian government has persistently raised domestic petroleum prices. The AIRTWF condemned this practice, especially given the recent opportunity for India to purchase crude oil from Russia at subsidised rates, paid in Indian Rupees, thus saving substantial foreign reserves.

The AIRTWF's statement emphasized that despite these favourable conditions, the government has not passed on the benefits to the public through reduced petrol, diesel, and gas prices. Instead, the government has only lowered ATF prices, which benefits the aviation sector. The federation has urged the government to cease its discriminatory policies and reduce fuel prices in the interest of the common people.

Additionally, the AIRTWF criticised the government's collection of an 8 rupee cess on every litre of diesel and petrol, purportedly for infrastructure development, including road construction and maintenance. They argued that the annual toll charge increases, despite initial tender disclosures detailing expected toll revenue, constitute a betrayal and exploitation of the public. The federation has demanded an immediate halt to this practice and urged the government to address these pressing issues without delay.ng your text for mistakes...