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Who did fuel price hikes hurt the most?

There is a massive outcry against the unprecedented fuel price hikes and their impact on ordinary citizens. Social media, newspapers, news channels, etc., reporting the issue of fuel price hikes and their effects on society have primarily focused on the plight of the ordinary citizen. However, the devastating impact of the fuel price hike on businesses has barely caught the public eye.

Diesel is the most widely used fuel in India, with more than 2.5x of petrol consumption. Among that, commercial vehicles account for more than 40% of consumption, whether they are freight, public transport, or commercial vehicles. Furthermore, almost 67% of all freight in India is transported via roads. Hence, it is safe to assume that businesses directly involved in transportation are the most impacted by soaring diesel prices. Continues price hikes have impacted large transporters who deal in semi-annual or annual contracts as they have to bear the brunt of the fuel price hike cutting their revenue. Small transporters that work on an ad-hoc basis have it worse. Due to immense competition, freight rates offered by them have more or less remain unchanged while the price of diesel has soared in the same period. The continuous rise in the cost of diesel has made the business unviable for many transporters across the country.