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BEST may get Rs 375-cr booster from civic body

The standing committee has also proposed to provide Rs 100 crore every year to BEST as its transport fund.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: December 20, 2013 2:36:56 am

To provide relief to cash-strapped BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport),the BMC has decided to hike its octroi rate on crude oil sales by 25 basis points and set aside the revenue therefrom for the power and transport utility.

“The margin will differ as per sales. But the BEST will be allotted Rs 225 crore every year,” said BMC’s standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale. BMC earns around Rs 6,000 crore a year through octroi on crude oil sales.

The standing committee has also proposed to provide

Rs 100 crore every year to BEST as its transport fund. Till the last financial year,the figure was a meagre Rs 50 lakh. The Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) mandates a civic body to create a transport fund,a proposal for which has been pending with the BMC for almost three years. BEST had earlier sought

Rs 100 crore under this fund.

Besides this,the standing committee has also proposed allotting an additional Rs 50 crore for BEST buses in the city. BEST has been arguing that the civic body must compensate it for the revenue foregone due to concessions provided to senior citizens and schoolchildren. It had also demanded money for capital expenditure.

The standing committee has made it clear that the entire fund of Rs 150 crore and additional should be utilised only for capital expenditure. “BEST will submit a report to the corporation every three months on the usage of the funds,” Shewale added.

Terming it a historic decision,BEST general manager O P Gupta said,“It is probably the biggest way in which the corporation has extended a helping hand towards BEST in the last 108 years.” The standing committee’s recommendations would have to be approved by the civic administration and the general body for it to take effect.

The committee on Thursday also approved the fare hike proposed by BEST in September. The fares will see an increase of 6-33 per cent for ordinary buses for the 2014-15. As per the proposed fares,commuters will have to pay Rs 7 for the minimum distance of two km. BEST hopes to earn Rs 130 crore from the hike annually.

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