To raise money for paying the salaries of its employees and meet its operational costs, the cash-strapped Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is set to raise Rs 2,000 crore by keeping its various depots as a collateral.
Sources said the MSRTC has suffered losses of around Rs 3,500 in the last six months due to the lockdown and the salaries of the staff have not been paid for three months. From catering to 60 lakh to 65 lakh passengers daily with per day income of Rs 22 crore, the footfall has come down to 10 lakh with a daily income of Rs 5 to Rs 6 crore, officials said.
“The government is witnessing a reduction in revenue collection. So, I have given a proposal to the government to raise Rs 3,600 crore, considering the operational cost of MSRTC. But considering the state’s financial condition, we can not rely only on the government. So, we have started exploring options for raising the funds on our own,” Anil Parab, Transport Minister and Chairman of MSRTC, told mediapersons on Friday.
“The MSRTC requires Rs 292 crore monthly to pay the salaries of the staff, which means Rs 900 crore for three months. We are trying to pay the salaries of the employees before Diwali,” he added.
Sources said that the MSRTC is likely to borrow Rs 2,000 crore by keeping its properties, such as bus depots, for collateral. Parab said MSRTC will have to give its properties as collateral while taking the loan. Discussions are underway and a final decision will be taken soon, he added.
In May, MSRTC buses had ferried migrant labourers free of cost. While those from other states were dropped at Maharashtra’s borders, those from the state were dropped near their villages.