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BEST faces loss of ₹1,029 crore; BMC asks for explanation

The committee has asked the BEST to furnish details of these expenditures of the grants. Accordingly, BEST conferred the details of its expenditure for the last 7 months, that is, April 2020 to October 2020.

BEST faces loss of ₹1,029 crore; BMC asks for explanation
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In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the lockdown was imposed since March across the city and state. Mumbai's lifeline local service was shut down during the initial phase of lockdown. But, BEST continued its transport service for the essential service personnel.

However, as per the information received from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the BEST services suffered a big loss during the lockdown. Last year alone, ticket prices were slashed to cover up the shortfall of income. However, the financial crisis at BEST has been exacerbated by the lockdown this year.

During the lockdown, BEST earned only ₹171 crores from ticket the sales. Between April and October, BEST had a fiscal deficit of ₹ 1,029 crores. Even after the grant of ₹720 crores received from BMC, there is a difference of ₹312.37 crores in income and expenditure. A loan taken from the BMC of ₹200 crore has been spent on the salaries of the employees.

In eight months, BEST has spent a total of ₹736.09 crores only on salaries. BMC has provided a grant of ₹2,500 crores to BEST in the last few years.

However, the Standing Committee has demanded an explanation from the BEST. The committee has asked the BEST to furnish details of these expenditures of the grants. Accordingly, BEST conferred the details of its expenditure for the last 7 months, that is, April 2020 to October 2020.

According to the reports, BEST received ₹891.92 crores from BMC in the last seven months (April to October). BEST earned ₹167.92 crores from passenger transport and ₹171.92 crores from other routes. However, BEST has taken a loan of ₹200 crores to cover the deficit of ₹312.37 crores.

Breakup of the expenses:

Salary: ₹736.09 crores

Fuel, CNG: ₹147.92 crores

Migrant tax, nutrition surcharge, road tax: ₹3.51 crores

Provision to suppliers: ₹115.60 crores

For leased buses: ₹45. 67 crores

Municipal Property Tax: ₹7.49 crores

Other expenditure on service and retired employees: ₹82.71 crores

Debt repayment: ₹62.91 crores

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