That the COVID-19 pandemic has hit everyone hard is an understatement. The businesses as well as commercial activities have come to a standstill due to all travel restrictions. The hardest hit though seems to be the Delhi public transport. According to the Bus & Car Operators Confederation of India (BOCI) that looks after the interest as well as the welfare of the permit and tourist buses, the losses are to the tune of Rs 65,000 crore. That’s a huge number and BOCI says that this has happened over the last two months. Many operators are now on the verge of a shutdown. BOCI said that there are more than 17 lakh operational buses on the Indian roads. To continue operating for another month without funding is next to impossible. Multiple appeals have been made to government organisations and even the Delhi CM to have a look into this.
BOCI has now come up with a list of recommendations to stabilise the industry. BOCI says that EMI payments on these buses should be deferred by six to 12 months. For the next three quarters, the government should waive the passenger and road taxes until the next three quarters. Payment of other taxes should also be deferred. Vehicle insurance validity should also be extended. Up to 25 per cent discount on tolls as well as Fastags should be provided is one of the demands. An extension of the fitness certificate, protection against a defaulter school or company and more should be done till March 2021. To reduce the running costs, spare parts as well as diesel/CNG should be allowed at subsidised rates for some time.
The appeal also says that vehicles whose EMIs are due and haven’t been paid shouldn’t be seized. Instead, one should be allowed to operate and later pay these due EMIs. At present, due to schools as well as organisations being closed indefinitely, these buses aren’t being used. Since they have been earmarked for a specific use, the operators cannot press them into some other service as well. Additionally, BOCI have asked insurers to extend the third-party insurance policy for three months and Insurance coverage should be given for the entire lockdown period, plus 15 days, without taking any additional premium
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