The debt-ridden Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) which was unable to pay salary to its employees even during Vishu and Easter, two major festivals being celebrated by Keralites, is seeking an overdraft to disburse the payment from Monday onwards.
Earlier, the KSRTC had announced that it would make part payment of the salaries. The transport corporation requires Rs 82 crore a month for salary disbursal and the corporation had sought an assistance of Rs 75 crore from the state government. However, only Rs 30 crore was sanctioned and even that was not transferred to the KSRTC account from the state treasury due to the holidays in the state since Thursday following Vishu and Easter.
The Management is now planning to take an overdraft of Rs 42 crore to make the salary payments with the balance being arranged from the state assistance. Already Rs 30 crore is sanctioned as assistance by the state and with a Rs 42 crore overdraft it would add upto 72 crore and the balance 13 crore will be sought from state as an added up assistance, sources in KSRTC management told IANS.
Trade unions in the KSRTC is on a warpath against State Transport Minister Antony Raju and the Managing Director of the corporation due to the failure to disburse salaries and mismanagement of the corporation. Both the CITU and AITUC, the powerful trade unions of the CPM and CPI respectively are also on warpath which has invited wrath.
Notably, both the CPI-M and CPI are part of the government and the unions have come out against the Transport Minister who incidentally is from the Kerala Congress, an alliance partner of the CPI-M and CPI in the cabinet. The CPM backed KSRTC employees union secretary, V. Santhakumar lashed out against the minister and the Managing director publicly and said that the minister and the MD were working against the interests of the employees.
The pro Congress, Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) is also launching an indefinite strike from Monday. K. Sasidharan, its president while speaking to IANS said: ” We are launching an indefinite agitation against the management and minister in front of the KSRTC headquarters at Thiruvananthapuram.”
The KSRTC employees sangh of the BMS is also on a warpath and its state general secretary, K.L. Rajesh said that his union had conducted a fast in front of all the 92 depots of the KSRTC across the state. He said that the organization would hold protest marches across all the district headquarters of the corporation and the state secretariat.
The KSRTC has been a white elephant in Kerala for the past several decades and a study by the renowned management expert Dr Sushil Khanna had in a report to the management and government called up for scrapping the middle management of the corporation.
He had also said that the number of employees working in the transport corporation was much higher when compared to the number of services it was operating in the state.