State fears Centre's pvt push may hit KSRTC, BMTC

State fears Centre's pvt push may hit KSRTC, BMTC

With the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways announcing its plan to open up the transport sector to private playe­r­s for operating bus services, the Karnataka go­vernment has urged the Centre to protect the interests of the state-run transport firms (KSRTC and BMTC), saying they have over 1.25 lakh employees.

Karnataka made its plea at a meeting of Group of State Transport Ministers constituted by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to examine best practices in road safety and transport sector. The GoM, headed by Rajasthan Transport Minister Yonus Khan, held its first meeting on Friday to take views from various stakeholders on all transport-related issues.

In the meeting, Karnataka said the state had Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) with a fleet strength of 24,000 and 1.25 lakh employees. “Of the total number of buses, only 18% run on profit, 40% on a no-profit-no-loss basis, while 42% run under loss. Taking all issues into consideration, the Centre must safeguard the interests of the state road transport corporations while allowing the private sector to enter the organised public transport sector,” Karnataka Transport Minister M Ramalinga Reddy said. With most of the Karnataka public transport routes nationalised, the KSRTC and its subsidiaries have a monopoly. If the private sector is allowed on national routes, state road transport undertakings will face a tough challenge, he said, adding that “our transport companies are not concentrating only on profit-making routes, but instead we aim at catering to  the needs of remote areas also.”
In the last budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the government’s plan to open the transport sector to  private players and entrepreneurs to operate buses on various routes aimed at providing efficient public transport system.

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