Maha govt announces Rs 1,000cr package for cash-strapped MSRTC

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Mumbai, Nov 10 (PTI) The Maharashtra government has announced Rs 1,000 crore financial package for the cash- strapped Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) for the next six months, minister Anil Parab said on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference here, the state transport minister said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar made this announcement after a meeting with him and holding a discussion with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Parab, who is the chairman of MSRTC, said this financial package will help the transport body get back track and will meet expenses such as salaries of employees and fuel costs for the next six months.

'The number of passengers (travelling by ST buses) is increasing by the day, and with the cooperation of staffers, the MSRTC's finances will be brought back on track. The problems will be resolved with the state's financial assistance,' Parab said.

The transport body had suffered revenue losses of around Rs 3,000 crore during the COVID-19 lockdown period, Parab said, adding that this in turn resulted in pending salaries.

As announced a day before, the MSRTC has disbursed the pending salary of one month and festival advance to employees on Monday, and will pay pending salaries of remaining two months before Diwali.

'The state government has agreed to pay state transport employees pending salaries till October 30, before Diwali,' Parab said.

MSRTC staff unions have claimed that two employees committed suicides at Jalgoan and Ratnagiri districts in the last two days, allegedly due to non-payment of salaries.

The minister, however, refuted media reports that the MSRTC had acted only after these suicides, and appealed to employees not to take any extreme steps.

The MSRTC is one of the biggest road transport undertakings of the county with a fleet of nearly 18,000 buses and around one lakh employees. PTI KK ENM ARU ARU