The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation on Thursday levied an additional diesel cess, ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 60 per passenger, on various bus services to cover the huge losses on account of the steep increase in the price of diesel.
On April 13 this year, the APSRTC levied a diesel cess of Rs 2 to Rs 10 per passenger.
“The diesel price was Rs 107 a litre on April 13, which now went up to Rs 131. The corporation is spending Rs 2.50 crore additionally per day because of the hike in diesel price. To cover this, we have decided to levy a further cess to cover the losses, APSRTC chairman A Mallikarjuna Reddy and Managing Director Ch Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said in a release here.
The enhanced fare on the account of the fresh diesel cess would come into force from July 1, they said.
City bus services in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam have been spared from the extra levy, but student bus passes will become dearer.
We are enhancing the diesel cess only under inevitable circumstances due to the rising price of fuel. This is not a burden on the passengers but only on diesel, they claimed.
Officials of APSRTC note that the public transporter suffered a revenue loss of a whopping Rs 5,680 crore in the last two years because of Covid-19.
Diesel cess has now been enhanced on a pro rata basis and the passenger fares will accordingly go up.
For the first 35 km in rural Palle Velugu services, there would be no additional cess. In long-distance luxury services too additional cess would be levied only after 55 km.
Accordingly, each passenger travelling to Hyderabad from Vijayawada will have to pay an additional Rs 60 and to Visakhapatnam Rs 80 due to increase in diesel cess, a senior RTC official said.
The additional diesel cess could help the corporation garner an extra revenue of Rs 1,500 crore per annum, he added.
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 official pointed out.