Govt. yet to decide on free bus pass

The State government, over the next couple of days, is likely to take a decision on free bus pass for students, an announcement made in the last budget presented by the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. A decision to provide free bus pass to all categories of students across the State will cost the exchequer around Rs. 1,900 crore yearly.

While Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was non-committal despite Opposition members seeking answers, he said on Thursday that he had received letters from legislators from Dakshina Kannada pointing out that there were more private bus services there and students would not benefit. Similar issues were there in some other parts of the State too, he said, and added that the Transport Department had agreed to fund 50% of the scheme.

However, sources in the department said, “The issue is who will foot 25% of the cost that is currently borne by the students. We are having a meeting with the Chief Minister tomorrow (Friday) to discuss the issue.”

Currently, the government pays 50% while students and transport corporations share 25% each — all of which come to about Rs. 1,900 crore.

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