A new financial package was announced for the aid of the debt-ridden Kerala State Road Transport Corporation on Monday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the government was preparing the package to revive the Kerala RTC, since the situation had further plunged post COVID-19.
The financial assistance provided by the government in the current year will be more than Rs 2,000 crore.
So far, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has provided a total of Rs 4,160 crore to Kerala RTC as against Rs 1,220 crore during the five years of the previous UDF government, CM Pinarayi told the media.
Yet there has been criticism from many quarters of the government's "negligence", he said.
The Chief Minister said the state government would protect the public sector and expand it.
"Kerala RTC will be revived and as part of the new package, some of the long-standing needs of the workers will be addressed," he added.
An amount of Rs 255 crore would be released on an emergency basis to settle salary recovery arrears and medical reimbursement of the employees, pending since 2016.
As an interim relief for pay revision pending since 2012, an amount of Rs 1,500 per month will be paid to all permanent employees, he said.
Negotiations for salary revision would begin as part of the package.
Empanelled employees will not be laid off, but be employed by a new subsidiary company of Kerala RTC, called SWIFT, which would run the premium services, CM Pinarayi said.
The interest of Rs 961 crore to be paid by the Kerala RTC to the government will be waived.
The loan of Rs 3,194 crore will be converted into shares.
The government would take the initiative of negotiating with the bank consortium for a new loan package, he added.
The CM also said that the new package would be discussed in detail with trade unions and be finalised as soon as possible in consultation with the management in an effort to protect the Kerala RTC.
(With PTI input)
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