Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who holds the Transport portfolio, on Saturday said the issue of non-payment of salaries to the state-run transport corporations would be resolved in the next three or four days. Though important festivals are lined up this month, the KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) and the BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) employees have not received the salary as the corporation has been running in huge losses due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown and the limited passengers allowed in order to maintain physical distancing.
Speaking to reporters in Belagavi, Savadi said, "There were some issues related to the payment of salaries but it will be resolved in the next three or four days." Savadi said the department has incurred massive loss due to the lockdowns imposed since the outbreak of coronavirus.
The salaries were borne by the state government for the initial two to three months but after that, it was agreed upon by the state government and the transport department to share the burden of salaries of employees at a ratio of 75% and 25% respectively.
"With that arrangement, we paid four months salary but this month is a big challenge because our revenues have dried up and we are running in losses. When we sent the proposal to the Finance Department to bail us out as per the agreement, they returned it," Savadi said.
According to him, the proposal has been sent to the finance department again. Sources in the transport department said the annual spending on salaries is around Rs 325 crore.
According to the state government, the losses for the state-run bus corporations had risen beyond Rs 800 crore by the end of April itself. The main corporation, KSRTC, caters to the stateās 17 southern districts, while NWKRTC serves the six north-western districts and NEKRTC caters to seven north-eastern districts in Karnataka, while BMTC works in Bengaluru and its outskirts.