More details of Rs 100cr KSRTC scam emerge; Biju Prabhakar says didn't insult staff

More details of Rs 100cr KSRTC scam emerges; Biju Prabhakar says didn't insult staff

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after IAS officer Biju Prabhakar, who heads the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), alleged irregularities to the tune of Rs 100 crore in the cash-starving public sector company, startling details of financial mismanagement has come to the light.

The company lacks records for the transactions of Rs 100.75 crore that happened during 2010-13, according to an investigation by the state finance department.

Manorama News has accessed the report which was discussed in board meeting of the KSRTC recently. The amount, for which records are missing, was paid to depots from the chief office, Manorama News reported. There are no proper records of the transactions through banks or treasuries, the probe report states.

The finance department has sought a proper auditing of the accounts by a special task force. It has also ordered to find out the records within a month. The report names a few officials, including pension and audit department executive director K M Sreekumar, for the mismanagement of the accounts.

The alleged financial irregularities happened when Sreekumar was the accounts secretary. Apart from Sreekumar, the report names J Vijayamohan, R Sudhakar and Sreedeviyamma who were the financial advisors to Sreekumar when the irregularities took place. All the three officials have been retired from service.

Notably, the report does not state that the officials embezzled the funds. However, the it is suspected that the lack of records indicate corruption.

Sreekumar was transferred to Ernakulam as central zone administrative officer on Saturday evening after Prabhakar accused him of alleged financial mismanagement earlier in the day.

Did not insult employees: Biju Prabhakar

Prabhakar addressed the KSRTC employees through a video on Sunday morning after trade unions accused him of insulting the staff in his Saturday press meet.

Prabhakar said he has always stood with the employees and his policy was 'employee first'.

"How can a driver who faces action from bank for loan default, drive a bus with a peace of mind," he asked, detailing the initiativs he has taken to ensure that the employees are paid their wages on time.

"If my words have hit someone, they are the looters in the corporation," he said.

"How can I run the corporation after insulting all the employees," he asked.

He said he does not want to live a retired life, branded as the one who destroyed the KSRTC.

Prabhakar has taken on trade union leaders head on amid an ongoing row between the KSRTC management and the unions over the establishment of a new company - KSRTC-SWIFT - which aims to tide over the huge financial crisis the corporation is facing.

On Saturday, he said the Swift scheme would be implemented at any cost and those opposing the venture would not remain in the department. The finance department has made it clear that it would give a single penny only after the implementation of Swift.

KSRTC-SWIFT will be a new company formed for long distance services. The rules for its services and employees will be different from that of the KSRTC.

In the budget presented by Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac on January 15, the state government had allotted Rs 1,800-crore assistance to the crisis-ridden KSRTC which included Rs 1,000 crore earmarked for salary, pension, and loan repayment.

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