The dream of RTC employees to be treated on par with the government employees would become a reality from January 1, 2020. The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday passed the Bill pertaining to the merger of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) with the government ‘Absorption of Employees into Government Services Bill 2019’ along with 15 other bills on the penultimate day of the winter Assembly session.
Calling it a historic decision, speaking in the Assembly, Jagan said, “Though it would [merger] put an additional burden of Rs 3,600 crore per annum on the state exchequer, it will bring happiness to 52,000 employees and their families.”
The Rs 3,600 crore expenditure would be towards pay, DA, HRA, allowances and incentives, gratuity, provision, leave encashment provision etc. of the APSRTC employees.
The Bill was introduced by Transport Minister Perni Venkatramaiah, who said that Jagan had made the merger possible as promised before the elections, which the previous Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had snubbed.
Jagan said that the legislation brought in by the TDP government in 1997 (prohibition on absorption of employees working in PSUs into public service under Act 14 of 1997) was a major hurdle for which a new legislation had to be enacted.
The APSRTC, founded in 1958, currently has outstanding liabilities of Rs 6,938 crore and a cumulative debt of Rs 3,450 crore, while the Corporation has been making a monthly loss of Rs 100 crore.
According to The Hindu, Transport Minister Perni Venkatramaiah said that to circumvent the prohibition on absorption of employees working in PSUs into public service under Act 14 of 1997, a separate legislation is considered expedient to bring about the implementation of the policy. The government has announced that it would create a new department ‘Public Transport Department, which would be headed by ex-officio Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the APSRTC.
The other bills which were passed along with the Absorption of Employees into Government Services Bill 2019 include: Andhra Pradesh Education (Amendment) Bill, AP Prohibition (Amendment) Bill, AP Excise (Second Amendment) Bill, establishment of exclusive Commissions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes; establishment of Millets Board, establishment of Pulses Board and amendments to the AP Universities Act.
With PTI inputs