No hike in bus fares despite soaring diesel prices, says Minister

'Transfer policy, in abeyance since 1996, will be implemented this year'

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy on Thursday said that the government has no plans to increase bus fare for now despite the fact that the four State owned transport corporations are reeling under heavy losses.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Reddy said the recent hikes in the diesel prices, amounting to Rs 7, would pose a burden to the corporations, as the projected losses were estimated to be Rs 396 crore annually.

Reddy said that the four corporations would incur Rs 33 crore losses per month, BMTC - Rs 6.5 crore, KSRTC - Rs 14 crore, NEKRTC - Rs 5.2 crore, NWKRTC - Rs 7 crore, if the diesel prices don’t stabilise.

The minister, however, said that there was some relief for corporations  when the diesel prices slumped for about four to five months, bringing down the losses substantially. The losses of BMTC came down from Rs 175 crore (2013-14) to Rs 65 crore, KSRTC - from Rs 87 crore to Rs 40 crore, NEKRTC - Rs 30 crore to Rs 15.46 crore, and NWKRTC - from Rs 60 crore to Rs 43 crore.

He said that unnecessary costs would be brought down, and steps would be taken to squeeze the staff strength to address the losses.

Transfer policy
Reddy also said that for the first time a transfer policy had been framed for all the four corporations, which would address several problems, particularly the harassment meted out to officials. The 1.26 lakh staff of the four entities, will be brought under the policy, which will come into effect from this year.

He said that the policy had been kept in abeyance ever since 1996, when the corporations were formed. The employees need not use influence anymore, he added.

Delay
As there has been delay in announcing the policy, transfer applications can be received by the corporations till May 31. The same will be processed by June 10, and transfer orders will be issued by June 15, he added.

Also, around 700 employees having sought transfers to the NWKRTC and the NEKRTC, from the BMTC, which would create a huge vacuum in the latter. Owing to which, the BMTC, has requested the other two corporations to effect the recruitment only by July 1, by which time the City transport corporation can fill in the vacant posts.

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