Siddaramaiah to take a call on slashing bus fares

Siddaramaiah to take a call on slashing bus fares

Transport corporations not in pink of financial health: Minister

Siddaramaiah to take a call on slashing bus fares

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said on Wednesday that the chief minister will take the final decision on reducing the fares in state-run buses.

Speaking to mediapersons, the minister pointed out that all the four government-run transport corporations (KSRTC, NEKRTC, NWKRTC and BMTC) were not in the pink of their financial health. He claimed that bring the fares would only put additional burden on these corporations, which were struggling to meet the growing expenses.

Reddy said that while the price of diesel has come down by Rs six per litre and considering that the price would remain the same till March 2015, then all the four corporations put together will save a mere Rs 8.3 crore after deducting the additional expenditure. 

Rising staff expenditure

The minister said that the expenditure on BMTC staff has gone up to Rs 899 crore in 2013-14 from Rs 657 crore in 2012-13 and as per the projections, it may increase to Rs 1,040 crore in 2014-15.

“ The BMTC alone has outstanding loans to the tune of  Rs 600 crore and the operational costs too have gone up substantially. New Volvo buses are not being purchased and this year, the BMTC has so far made a profit of Rs three crore with the existing Volvo buses,” he said.

The minister said that the scheduled of buses had been changed to minimise losses and some schedules had been withdrawn. Reddy claimed that the BMTC had not purchased a single premium bus since he became the Transport minister.

In order to save money, the State would urge the Union government to exempt BMTC and KSRTC buses from payment of motor vehicle tax. This would save Rs 160 crore and Rs 105 crore for the two corporations respectively, per year.

 The minister added that even though the transport corporations have been able to bring out their liabilities, the fiscal position could be known only at the end of the financial year.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no role in bringing down the diesel price. The price has come down due to the decrease in the price of crude oil in the international market,” he said.  

Acting Managing Director of KSRTC, B N S Reddy, said that the corporation had not purchased new buses.

“We have tried Scania buses for four months on pilot buses but so far no decision has been taken to purchase them”, he added.