Mumbai: Rs 2 crore paid to BEST workers in Rs 5 coins
Massive influx of Rs 5 coins after recent fare change prompts BEST to dole out extra change to employees and open exchange centres at depots.
Over the past year, BEST has started doing a rather strange thing. It gave a fraction of its employees' salary — Rs 500 to be exact — to them in coins, mostly Rs10 denominations. But the recent fare change implemented in July, because of which the minimum ticket price is Rs 5, has caused a massive influx of Rs 5 coins — thereby leading it to dish out Rs 500 out of each of its employees' salaries to them in these very coins, leading up to a total of a whopping Rs 2.05 crore.
Manoj Vande, BEST's deputy public relations officer confirmed that BEST's approximately 41,000 employees and officers were paid R500 of their salary in Rs 5 coins on Friday. "After we made a fare revision in July, the minimum bus fare has become Rs 5 and the maximum has become Rs 10," he said. "Because of this, the quantum of coins that we are receiving has increased —especially that of the Rs 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5 coins."
He explained that apart from giving its employees a fraction of their salary in coins, BEST was also taking other measures to get rid of the surplus change lying around. "We generally give our bus conductors working the first shift Rs 100 in impressed cash (coins), so that they have change to give to passengers in the morning. This is how we used to utilise change and ensure it remains in circulation. On top of this, we have also opened a service at bus depots where people can exchange their money for change in coins from the ticket and cash department."
A BEST employee told mid-day, "Our salaries used to get delayed a lot earlier…at least now it's coming at a fixed time." When asked about the Rs 5 coins, he said: "We used to get R10 coins earlier but they are inconvenient as a lot of people do not accept them."
Amount paid to each employee in Rs 5 coins
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