Around 42,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) have not been paid salaries for February, owing to the alleged financial crunch faced by the undertaking, officials said on Tuesday.
While the crunch has remained for the past couple of years, officials said a delay in paying monthly instalments of loans this time has held up payments of workers.
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At present, officials said, BEST faces a deficit of around Rs 1,000 crore and needs to repay loans worth Rs 400 crore. Till January, a surplus received through Transport Division Loss Ratio (TDLR) helped the undertaking manage pending payments and pay salaries, officials added.
“BEST needs a fund of Rs 180 crore to be able to pay the salaries of employees. Though the crunch existed for a long time, employees have received their salaries on time, always. A solution needs to be worked out,” said Hanumant Gophane, chief public relations officer, BEST.
BEST had been demanding a grant of at least Rs 400 crore from the undertaking for continuing with its operations. Since the past one year, cost cutting measures through curtailing new posts and auctioning old buses were adopted by the undertaking to manage expenditures.