Govt urges Centre for loan concession, extension of insurance cover to bus owners

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday requested the Union Finance Minister and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) to provide concession to bus operators hit by the second wave of Covid pandemic in the form of waiver of Interest on bank loans, shifting of payment of instalments of such loans and extended insurance coverage.

In a letter to Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the State Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera requested her to waive off the interest on bank loans for three months from April- June, 2021 and shift the payment of installments of such loans and extended insurance coverage without payment of any extra premium for the said period.

In Odisha, the private bus operators play a vital role to extend transport facility to public as over 90% of the public transport buses are owned by private operators but due to restriction on movement of buses during this period on account of sustained lockdowns, the private bus operators are sustaining huge losses, Behera explained in the letter.

In a separate letter to the IRDA, the Government of Odisha mentioned that it has already exempted the road tax for two months, i.e., for April & May, 2021 and is also considering to exempt the tax for June, 2021. The Bus Owners are also requesting for rebate on insurance coverage for an extended period.

The State government has therefore requested the IRDA to kindly impress upon the Insurance Companies to extend the insurance coverage for three months , i.e., from April- June, 2021 without payment of any premium.

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