Representational Image: Mathrubhumi
New Delhi: Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) requested the Supreme Court to direct the Central government to create an independent regulatory authority to control the fuel price. It requested to appoint a retired judge of the Supreme Court as the head of the authority with the experts of the power sector as other members. The petition also demanded to revoke the decision of public sector oil companies to sell diesel to the bulk purchasers at a higher price compared to the market rate.
According to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act of 2006, an independent regulatory authority has to be formed for fixing fuel prices. However, the central government had not formed any such body yet.
KSRTC buys 4,10,000 litres of diesel per day and the public sector oil companies had begun to incur more price from the bulk purchasers when compared to the market rate from February 1. It costs an extra amount of Rs 19 lakhs daily for Kerala. This will lead to the complete shut down of KSRTC which already confronts many other challenges, KSRTC mentioned in the petition.
In all the other nations, bulk purchasers procure diesel at a comparatively lower price. In contrast to this, India imposes an extra burden of Rs 6.73 per litre on KSRTC, which violates the fundamental right of equality. Here, the central government and oil companies are infringing the provisions of the Essential Goods Act and the Essential Services Maintenance Act. The petition also noted that KSRTC could not be considered as a private institution.