TSRTC faces crushing losses

Continuous rise in diesel prices adds to the woes

March 01, 2021 12:18 am | Updated 12:18 am IST - HYDERABAD

TSRTC is struggling to increase its occupancy ratio which was 56.72 in January 2021.

TSRTC is struggling to increase its occupancy ratio which was 56.72 in January 2021.

It is a double whammy for the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC). On the one hand it is dealing a decrease in earnings per kilometre, and on the other, given the COVID – 19 pandemic, it is struggling to increase its occupancy ratio which was 56.72 in January 2021. What has exacerbated the problem is the continuous rise in diesel prices.

The transport juggernaut procures diesel by means of the consumer mode of pricing. This is different from retail mode pricing which is applicable on the average vehicle owner. As on Saturday, the retail mode of pricing stood at ₹88.85.

As compared to retail mode of pricing, the consumer mode of pricing is marginally lesser. But despite this, the sources said that the TSRTC is facing crushing losses as there is no increase in revenues for different reasons, including an ageing fleet.

Data indicates that earnings per kilometre (EPK) up to January 2020 was ₹31.30. Upon comparison with the EPK from April 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021, the EPK stood at ₹26.12. This despite the fact that TSRTC improved its kilometre per litre efficiency from 5.13 kmpl up to from April 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020 to 5.43 from April 1, 2020 to January this year. The loss incurred from April 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020 was over ₹400 crore. This increased in the next year over the same period to approximately ₹1,950 crore.

Data shows that the gross EPK till January 2020 was ₹38.41. But on account of uses going off the roads due to the lockdown, and other important factors, such as high diesel prices, this plunged to ₹27.46. “The steady increase in diesel prices have have a crippling effect on the revenues. The TSRTC uses lakhs of litres per day for its operations. As you can see, the fuel efficiency increase too is not helping much. The pandemic and the lockdown primarily have had a massively negative effect on the revenues,” a sources said.

TSRTC unions, such as the TSRTC Employees Union, have been demanding that the State government ease the burden on the corporation by exempting Value Added Tax diesel procurement. They have also indicated that loss of revenue be compensated by the State government.

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