Mumbai BMC facing drop in revenue, slashes financial aid to BEST.

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to reduce by Rs 300 crore the financial aid to its undertaking Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), with a fall in its revenue.

Praveen Pardeshi, the then municipal commissioner, in the FY 2020-21 had proposed in February to grant an aid of Rs 1,500 crore to BEST. It deals with repayment of loans, procurement of new buses under wet lease, fulfilment of financial obligations arising from the wage agreement, day-to-day expenditures and implementation of the Integrated Transport Management System project.

Of the Rs 1,500 crore, BMC has so far paid Rs 500 crore, the civic body has incurred losses worth Rs 4,000 crore this year due to Covid-19 issues and losses could go up to Rs 14,000 crore this financial year.

“We have proposed an amount of Rs 300-crore cut in the total financial aid proposed for BEST in the budget. Now, only Rs 1,200 crore will be given to BEST. The decision was taken following a dip in BMC’s revenue,” said finance department official. The proposal has been confirmed by P Velrasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects) confirmed the development.

So far, over 300 buses on wet lease have been hired by BEST. In all, it was supposed to get 1,240 buses on wet lease.

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