Free Bus travel scheme strains RTC finances; Congress govt owes Rs. 2,500 Cr to RTC

The Congress government’s free bus travel for women scheme is heading towards a disaster. Labour unions have raised concerns that the Mahalakshmi Scheme, launched shortly after the Congress government came to power, is causing financial losses for the RTC. 

Under this scheme, women are issued zero-fare tickets, with the government compensating the RTC. However, the state government currently owes approximately Rs. 2,500 crore to the RTC for these zero-fare tickets. 

Although Rs. 340 crore has been released to subsidize bus passes under the new scheme, labor union representatives point out that Chief Minister Revanth Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Bhatti Vikramarka, and Transport Minister Ponnam Prabhakar had promised monthly payments for the free travel scheme, which have yet to be fulfilled.

Additionally, RTC employees face other financial grievances such as encashment of Earned Leaves,  accrued Drought Allowances (DA), and pay revision. Gratuity payments to retired RTC employees have been suspended since February, with amounts ranging from Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 lakhs for drivers and conductors, and up to Rs. 60 lakhs for higher-ranking officers. Around 500 families are currently awaiting these payments.