Had to break fixed deposits to pay BEST's debts: BMC

Meanwhile, opposition leader Ravi Raja expressed his disappointment towards the BEST Corporation's failure to provide the account of the money used by them

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After Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced that it will rescue the debt-ridden Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) in clearing its debts, it is being hailed as the rescuer. However, the BMC is being criticised by the opposition leaders as the civic body has dipped into its reserves to help BEST since it has no provision in its budget to repay their loans.

In a statement by the municipal corporation, it was mentioned that the BMC had used money from three fixed deposits (FD) to bail out BEST. The statement added that between August 19 and 30, it paid ₹1,136 crore to BEST, of which ₹478 crore have come from breaking three fixed deposits.

A senior BMC official had stated that the FDs were withdrawn from the civic body's State Bank of India (SBI) account prematurely. He added that the municipal corporation had to ensure that BEST would be debt-free and they had to find another way to help as they had not allotted a provision in the BMC budget 2019-20.

Also Read: BEST Launches The All New Mini AC Bus

While the BEST has already made the payment, the issue had come up for post-approval in the Standing Committee that happened on September 16, Monday.

Earlier, BEST had written to BMC and had asked for ₹1,200 crore to clear its debts. The transport wing was paying about ₹25 crore as interest at 9 to 11 per cent on the debt every month. Therefore, BEST had requested the aid from BMC to help them improve their financial position. So far, the BMC has given BEST ₹2,100 crore in financial aid.

However, opposition leader Ravi Raja raised the issue about the bus company failing to provide an account of the money used. He said that the civic body had broken three of its fixed deposits to help BEST but they had failed to provide any details about how the money was being used.

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