Covid-19: Maharashtra govt sanctions ₹1,000 cr financial assistance to MSRTC

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on December 02, 2020 Published on December 02, 2020

A file picture of a worker spraying disinfectant at an MSRTC bus stand in Karad.

Due to pandemic, the state transport corporation had suffered a loss of ₹3,000 crore.

The Maharashtra Government has decided to provide a ₹1,000 crore financial assistance to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), which has suffered heavy losses due to Covid related lockdown.

A decision to sanction financial support was taken in Wednesday’s cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray so that employees could be paid salaries.

MSRTC buses ply in rural areas, reaching even to the remotest corners of the state. However, due to its subsidised fares, the corporation has never made any profit. After the Covid induced lockdown, the MSRTC had suffered a loss of ₹3,000 crore. Before the lockdown, the MSRTC used to carry 65 lakh passengers daily. However, even by early November, the number has only reached 13 lakh.

As per the Government statement, it had sanctioned ₹120 crore last month as an advance from the contingency fund to pay salaries to the employees of the corporation till October. After the deduction of advance, the remaining ₹880 crore would be paid to the MSRTC in six monthly instalments. This amount will be approved as a supplementary demand in the Winter session of the State Legislature.

The number of employees of the MSRTC are 99,787. The State Government has already given ₹1,700 crore as a subsidy, which allows MSRTC to keep its fare low. About 40 per cent of the corporation's total expenditure is on staff and 32 per cent on fuel.

The Covid induced lockdown on March 23 closed MSRTC’s transport services except for essential services, adversely affecting the corporation's revenue and making it difficult for MSRTC to pay its salaries.

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Published on December 02, 2020
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