Bhubaneswar: The All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association has urged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banks to defer the collection of equated monthly instalment (EMI) and waive off the loan interest for one year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Briefing the media, general secretary of the association Debendra Sahu said that less than 4 per cent of the 14,000 buses are now plying in the state and the owners are incurring heavy losses due to poor passengers turnout.
About 56,000 bus staffers have lost their livelihood, he said, adding that the owners do not have enough money to run their buses.
The association has also urged the RBI to direct the banks to provide financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to each owner.
“The RBI needs to urgently intervene in the matter as the debt-ridden bus owners are already contemplating to take the extreme step amid this crisis,” he said.
The association has also requested the state government to urgently take up the matter with the RBI and the Centre, he added.