Furore in Kerala Assembly over KSRTC crisis
news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | December 8, 2014 | 15.42 pm IST The Kerala assembly on Monday witnessed a furore over the delay in releasing the salaries of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees for the month of November. Seeking leave for an adjournment motion, CPI-M legislator Elamaram Kareem said the salaries of about 46,000 permanent and temporary employees were delayed for the first time and were given after more than a week. "About 37,000 pensioners are concerned, payments to them are in arrears for about two months. When we (CPI-M) ruled (2006-11), a delay never happened. The state government is not sincere and is only talking about working out a rehabilitation package but no action is forthcoming," said Kareem. Kareem blamed Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's government and said it has come to a stage where KSRTC land at several places has been pledged and it is this money which is being used to keep the largest state public sector company afloat. Replying to this, Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan pointed out that the Chandy government has advanced close to Rs. 1,513 crore to the KSRTC since it assumed office in 2011. "Your government (the Achuthanandan government 2006-11) during the five-year period gave only Rs.599 crore. Today the situation is such that there is a huge gap in the daily collection and expenses. The yearly loss of the KSRTC has crossed Rs.519 crore," said Radhakrishnan. He said the state government is committed to the development of the KSRTC and its employees as it provides transport to lakhs of people daily. "We (the government) have decided to restructure the loans of the KSRTC, as most of them are those where the interest rates are as high as 16.25 percent. We are in talks with other lending institutions and expect to save Rs.120 crore if the loans are restructured," he said. "We will ensure that about 1,900 new buses are put into service, besides retiring an equal number of vehicles. We will do a complete rescheduling of routes and increase the non-operating revenue," said Radhakrishnan. "During your time, land was pledged as collateral security for loans taken and you should understand that Rs.600 crore has been the outflow for building shopping complexes and it has not earned the desired income. So rather blaming one another, there is a need to put our heads together and work out a solution," said Radhakrishnan. Achuthanandan warned Radhakrishnan that if the state government does not do the job properly, he will be blamed for closing down the KSRTC. Read more: KSRTCâ€™s future: More Loans, new routes or shutting down? IANS
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