6 Jul 2010

Strikes over rise in fuel prices in India

8:00 pm on 6 July 2010

A strike in protest at fuel price increases has caused disruption in many parts of India.

Transport services were affected in the financial capital, Mumbai, as well as in Kolkata and Bangalore.

Last month, the government scrapped petrol subsidies and increased prices of other fuels in an attempt to cut its budget deficit.

It expects the increase will add nearly 1% to an inflation rate which is already higher than 10%.

The main strikes were in states where the opposition is in power. Regions ruled by the governing Congress Party were not affected much.

The BBC reports the rise adds about 3.5 rupees (8 US cents) to the price of a litre of petrol, a rise of 6.7%.

Kerosene, which is used for cooking by tens of millions of people, went up by 3 rupees a litre (33%), the first such increase since 2002.

Diesel prices will rise by 2 rupees a litre (5%), though not immediately.