Karnataka government releases ₹1,059 crore to road transport corporations

₹800 crore will be for clearing provident fund dues and the rest for meeting fuel bills

₹800 crore will be for clearing provident fund dues and the rest for meeting fuel bills

The four road transport corporations (RTCs), which are reeling under heavy losses owing to fuel prices and other operational costs, received a shot in the arm with the State government releasing ₹1,059 crore to them.

An order issued by the State government states that out of the financial assistance, ₹800 crore should be used for clearing provident fund dues and the rest of the amount to meet fuel bills. As per the order, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) received ₹330 crore, while the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) received assistance of ₹279 crore. North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) got sanctioned ₹320 crore, and ₹130 crore has been provided to the Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC).

After the outbreak of the pandemic, the RTCs suffered huge revenue losses resulting in severe financial distress, and increasing fuel prices, staff costs and other expenses worsened their finances. The corporations failed to make statutory payment of provident funds (PF) and clear other dues. They had apprised the government that failing to pay the PF dues would result in facing legal action.

A senior RTC official said, “No doubt, the State government’s financial aid is a big relief, but we fear that our losses will increase further as corporations spend greater operational revenue for fuel expenses. Take the example of KSRTC; earlier, if the fare revenue was ₹9 crore per day, ₹3 crore would go to fuel, but now, it has increased up to ₹5 crore.”

A BMTC official added, “The BMTC has a total liability of over ₹2,000 crore, out of which more than ₹1,000 crore is loan borrowed from financial institutions. There are fuel bills and PF payments that need to be cleared. As per the government order, the financial aid will be used to clear PF dues and meet fuel expenses.”

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