The Punjab Mass-Transit Authority’s (PMA) deficit has reached Rs375 million thanks to the closure of the metro bus company for 105 days while officials believe that a single-day shutdown of metro bus causes a loss of Rs3.6 million, Pakistan Today reported.
According to reports, while no decision has been taken to revive the service by the govt thus far , the Punjab government had earlier also cut subsidy of PMA by Rs1 billion and therefore the fourth quarter’s funds weren’t fully released within the last financial year (2019-2020).
“Due to non-issuance of funds, there are problems in payment to contractors,” reports quoted officials as saying.
They lamented that the government’s policies were beyond understanding because it had allowed intra-city and inter-city transport to work but had not yet restored the metro bus company since after the primary coronavirus lockdown.
“An average of 130,000 commuters were taking advantage of the metro bus company daily. The authority is currently facing the worst financial crisis. No strategy has been formulated to revive the financial damages nor has it been decided how the foreign company which is working the metro bus are going to be supported.”
Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the Punjab government had decided to shut Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan metro bus company in March. However, local transporters were later allowed to work inter and intra-bus service while following certain guidelines.
The report also quoted sources within the Punjab government as claiming that the metro bus company was a white elephant. “The service had been subsidised by the previous government but it’s very difficult for this government to subsidise the bus company further.”
PMA head (Operations) Uzair Shah said the choice to reactivate the bus company would be taken by the Punjab government whereas no order had thus far come from the govt . “The authority is facing problems thanks to non-receipt of subsidy,” he added while also requesting the govt to release funds.