Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is yet to disburse its employees' salary for the month of April.
Though Transport Minister Antony Raju held talks with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday, no solution was reached on the salary issue.
After meeting the Chief Minister, Raju took a strong stand that the government would not budge before the adamancy of the trade unions.
He said that the government would interfere on the matter of salary only if it was needed.
With this, the expectation of the KSRTC employees that they would get their salary once the Chief Minister returned to Kerala after foreign visit has been shattered.
In 2018, 52 depots of the KSRTC were mortgaged at the banks for raising money for disbursing salaries. Around Rs 3,100 crore was raised by pledging these depots.
The KSRTC has a total of 94 centres, including depots, sub-depots, five regional workshops and the chief office. Now, the management plans to raise another Rs 400 crore by pledging another 30 depots.
Minister comes down heavily on trade unions
Raju said that the trade unions should not be under the impression that they can move the government using threats.
He accused the trade unions of pushing the employees to go on strike the other day without accepting the government assurances and thereby causing inconvenience to the people.
He said he did not raise the matter of financial support for the KSRTC in his talks with the Chief Minister.
With the minister shunning the government's responsibility in disbursing salaries, the decision of the KSRTC management is going to be crucial. But its decision seems to be delayed further as the MD Biju Prabhakar is away in Amsterdam attending a seminar.
Though the CITU leadership had informed the media about a meeting with the Chief Minister on Wednesday, it did not take place.
The Congress-led TDF and the BMS union are planning to hold protest marches at the depot-level in the coming days.