Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA) workers on Tuesday tonsured their heads to show their protest over rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
The workers carried begging bowls in their hands as a part of their protest in front of the Indian Oil Corporation's office here. They also demanded the inclusion of petroleum products in the GST.
G Jayapal, General Secretary of the KHRA, said that the prices of daily necessities have tripled but the government is pretending it is not important. "It is also an indication that small and medium hotels in Kerala will have to take to the streets with begging bowls without much delay," said Jayapal.
"We are staging this struggle here by raising three demands. These include the inclusion of petroleum products in the GST, urgent redressal of the issue of gas price hike and redressal of the issue uncontrolled price hike of the necessary products. In the last four months, the price of LPG has gone up by Rs 500. This is a serious blow to the food distribution sector, which is struggling with COVID-19. An ordinary hotel now has an additional liability of Rs 1,500 per day," he added.
The prices of petrol and diesel have increased sharply over the past few days, with that of petrol touching the 100-rupee mark in some of the cities. Opposition parties have held protests in different parts of the country over the rising prices of fuel.
On February 25, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that she won't be able to answer when the prices of petrol and diesel will be reduced.
"I won't be able to say 'when'. It is a 'dharam sankat' (dilemma)," Sitharaman said at an event in Ahmedabad after being asked when would the central government reduce fuel prices.
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has, however, assured that price of fuel would decrease once the winter season ends.
"Increase in petroleum price in international market has affected consumers too. Prices will come down a little as winter goes away. It is an international matter, price is high due to increase in demand, it happens in winter. It will come down as the season ends," Pradhan had said on February 26.
( With inputs from ANI )
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