Travelling in state buses in Maharashtra is expected to rise with the state deciding to increase fares by as much as 18%.
The state's transport minister Diwakar Raote said the decision was taken out of "compulsion", and blamed it to the rising fuel prices in the country as well as rising wages of the Maharashtra State Transport Corporation's employees.
The corporation said it initially expected a fare-hike in the range of 30%, but settled for 18% after discussion with several stakeholders.
Rising fuel prices had increased the MSRTC's budget by at least Rs 460 crore annually. A salary hike offered to its employees also put an additional burden of Rs 4849 crores on the corporation.
Although the fare-hike was imminent and expected to commence from June 15, Raote was quoted as saying by several news reports that the MSRTC could re-work the fares in the event taxes on diesel were lowered.
The 18% fare-hike is expected to add to woes of nearly 7 million passengers using the service. The corporation operates nearly 16,500 buses daily.
Besides operating a fleet of inter-city buses between Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Nagpur, Amravati, etc, the bus services also travels to neighboring states such as Andhra Pradesh, Goa, and Karnataka.