THE BRIHANMUMBAI Municipal Corporation (BMC) will grant Rs 1,136.31 crore additional financial aid to the ailing Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) to clear its debt.
A proposal of granting financial help to BEST will be tabled in the Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday for approval. Earlier, the BMC had sanctioned Rs 600 crore to BEST, of which Rs 200 crore was released.
Last week, in a group leaders’ meeting, a decision was taken to grant Rs 1,200 crore to clear BEST’s debt On May 26, general manager of BEST had written to BMC stating that the BEST had Rs 1,136.19 crore loan with 9-11 per cent annual interest. According to officials, the interest comes to around Rs 25 crore per year.
“This additional help will surely give relief to BEST’s transport wing. We have already released Rs 200 crore since BEST had purchased buses as per our agreement,” an official said.
The BEST had signed an agreement with the civic body under which, in lieu of help, BEST has to undertake various reforms to improve its financial health. The conditions also include a minimum fare Rs 5 and doubling of BEST bus fleet.