Himachal Pradesh government today announced a 30 per cent hike in fares in state-owned buses following recent increase in price of diesel.
The announcement to hike fares in Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses was made by Transport Minister Mohinder Singh through a suo motu statement in the state assembly.
Singh said the state government has restored the 10 per cent of the fare which was withdrawn with effect from April 1, 2009, and imposed a fresh 20 per cent raise in view of recent increase in prices of petrol and diesel by the central government.
The Transport Minister said he hike was necessary as HRTC was already under huge loss and the recent hike in fuel prices made its operation difficult at old fares.
Though the minister did not mention from when the new fares would come into effect sources in the state transport department said it would be in action from April this year.
HRTC was in a loss of Rs 512 crore in fiscal 2008-9. Even salaries of employees was provided through grant or special loan provided by the state government, he added.
Justifying the hike in bus fares, the HP minister said even Congress government in Delhi has raised bus fares by 50 per cent after recent fuel price hike. Similarly, Punjab and Uttrakhand also raised bus fares before HP did, he said.
Opposition Congress MLAs protested bus fares hike.