Representational Image | Photo: Sreejith P Raj / Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The employees of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) are likely to be paid the second instalment of salaries for the month of February before March 18. The government aid of Rs 30 crore is expected to be granted within two days. The management has received confirmation from the finance department in this regard.
In the wake of the worsening financial crisis, KSRTC has been disbursing salaries in instalments. The move to distribute the second instalment comes amid the call for strikes by BMS and INTUC unions. Both the unions had declared to reach a final decision over strikes on March 18.
Meanwhile, CITU leaders are planning to meet Transport Minister Antony Raju on March 18 to discuss the salary issue. Earlier, CITU had withdrawn from the strike following talks with the minister on March 6. However, opposition-backed unions are gearing up for strikes and are planning to form a common front.
The management is of the stance that they cannot distribute the salaries without government assistance. The government had promised to grant Rs 50 crore every month. That is, the management is yet to receive Rs 40 crore in addition to the Rs 30 crore to be granted this week. Further, an overdraft of Rs 50 crore availed last month has not been repaid yet.
The KSRTC will be able to distribute salaries for the month of March in a single instalment, only if the government pays Rs 50 crore (March) and arrears of Rs 40 crore (February). In case of delay, the management might be forced to disburse salaries in instalments again, thereby inviting the wrath of the employees.
According to the government, while an income of Rs 230.18 crore was earned in January, the expenditure including loan repayment, diesel, spare parts and FASTag was Rs 278.31 crore. Following this, the employees unions had demanded the minister to prioritise the distribution of salaries over other expenses.