APSRTC to levy diesel cess to curb losses

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Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has decided to levy diesel cess ranging from Rs 2 to Rs 10 per passenger to at least partially cover the huge losses on account of the steep increase in the price of diesel.

Except the base fare on rural Palle Velugu and city bus services, the RTC decided not to enhance the passenger fares though a 32 per cent hike was required to cover the losses, corporation Managing Director Ch Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said here on Wednesday.

The minimum fare in Palle Velugu and city services has been fixed at Rs 10.

Speaking to reporters, the Managing Director said the diesel price shot up from Rs 67 to Rs 107 a litre between December 2019 and April 2022.

This is a 60 per cent rise in diesel price, whereas we have not increased passenger fares after December 2019. We are incurring an additional expenditure of Rs 3.5 crore per day on diesel, he noted.

Tirumala Rao said the public transporter suffered a revenue loss of a whopping Rs 5,680 crore in the last two years because of Covid-19.

At the same time, rates of tyres and other bus components also went up. All this has become unbearable for the corporation and only under inevitable circumstances we have decided to levy diesel cess without increasing the passenger fares, the Managing Director said.

The RTC would earn Rs 720 crore per annum from diesel cess but that’s peanuts, he observed.

The diesel cess would be Rs 2 per passenger in rural Palle Velugu services, Rs 5 in Express and Rs 10 in high-end services.

Of the about 12,000 fleet of RTC, 50 per cent are Palle Velugu and three per cent high-end services, including the air-conditioned buses.

Even after levying the cess, we don’t even break even. Actually, we need to increase ticket price by 32 per cent to tide over the losses, the MD said.

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