Hyderabad: A week after fares of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation were raised by the state government, the Andhra Pradesh government followed suit and announced a price hike for the state-run bus services.
To address the financial burden on the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), an increase of 20 paise per kilometre on bus services at the district level, and 10 paise for buses running in cities and villages has been announced.
Andhra Pradesh Minister for Information and Public Relations Perni Venkataramaiah said, "The road transport corporation is sinking into an abyss because of the financial burden. To save it, we have decided to increase the fare."
He elaborated that the transport corporation suffered from a debt of Rs 6,735 crore, while yearly losses amounted to Rs 1,200 crore.
Venkataramiah further added that the increase in diesel price from Rs 50 in 2015 to Rs 75 now also added to the burden.
He said, "The increased salaries of the employees and pay revision commission arrears added to the financial burden of the corporation."
The fare was last increased in 2015.
He, along with the managing director of the transport corporation M T Krishna Babu, told reporters that the effective date of implementation of the hike would be notified soon.
Meanwhile, official sources said the state government has decided to constitute a regulatory commission to fix the bus fare every year.
A bill in this regard would be introduced in the winter session of the state Legislature beginning Monday.
"The regulatory commission will take into account the income and the expenditure of the corporation and accordingly fix the passenger fares every year. This will rationalise the fare and ensure the organisation is not pushed into the red," a top official said.
(With inputs from PTI)