Bus fares will go up by at least 15 per cent from Tuesday as Friday night`s shock increase in fuel prices set off a chain reaction on prices of several items with the government claiming it is helpless. Private bus operators said they met the National Transport Commission (NTC) on Friday and obtained its approval for the hike in fares while the Shell gas company demanded that it be allowed to increase the price of 12. kg cylinder by Rs. 174 though the Consumer Affairs Authority approved a hike of Rs. 87.
An official of the CAA said it had approved a hike of Rs. 87 only for Shell gas while a similar request made by Laugfs gas was being considered.
Shell Marketing Director Radesh Daluwatte claimed the company was losing Rs. 200 per cylinder and it was insisting that the price be increased by Rs. 174.
Meanwhile, the prices of several flour-based products have already gone up while the prices of rice, vegetables and other items are likely to go up in the coming days.
The cost of living soared as the government admitted that the price hike were inevitable due to the escalating military expenditure for the ongoing undeclared Eelam war IV.
A ministerial committee headed by the Prime Minister to examine matters relating to the cost of living said it was helpless in containing the rising prices of items such as fuel and gas.