The South Asian Times

22 August 2018 03:51 AM

DMK recommends administered pricing mechanism to tackle bus fares

By IANS

Chennai, Feb 13: The DMK party, which has been in the forefront of protests against the bus fare hike, has suggested an administered pricing mechanism (APM) system to fix fares for buses operated by the eight State Transport Corporations (STC) and also to bring fuel prices under the GST ambit at 10 per cent.

DMK leader M.K.Stalin on Tuesday submitted to Chief Minister K. Palaniswami a report prepared by the five-member committee headed by former Union Minister T.R. Baalu on restructuring the STCs.

The DMK set up the committee after the government jacked up bus fares to rake in around Rs 3,600 crore.

According to the report, the Tamil Nadu government should reimburse all the expenses of the STCs and 12 per cent return by forming a Tamil Nadu State Corporations Central Pool Account (TNSCCPA).

This is similar to the Oil Coordination Committee that determines oil prices.

The report said only when the STCs perform well and earn sufficient surplus the 12 per cent return from TNSCCPA should be given to them.

The Baalu Committee report has proposed that to manage the TNSCCPA, the government should form a Tamil Nadu State Corporations Co-ordination Authority (TNSCCA).

The report also recommended bringing oil under the GST regime at 10 per cent rate.

Some of the other recommendations are:

-The government should compensate the STCs for its losses due to the government's policies;

-State-owned bus transport service should be considered as public service and subsidies should be allocated in the state budget in a transparent manner;

-The Tamil Nadu government should foot the bill for future hike in salaries and pensions;

-STCs should build bus bodies;

-Fix STC bus timings in such a way that they earn profits;

-Each STC bus has to return to depot for maintenance after 16 hours of operation;

-The Tamil Nadu government should allocate Rs 1,000 crore in its budget every year for purchase of new buses;

-Making insurance for STC buses compulsory and the government should take care of the premium bill;

-Conduct energy audit;

-STCs should increase revenue from other sources;

-Introduce Tatkal scheme in bus seat reservation.

Update: 13 Feb, 2018

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