Will pay KSRTC employees salary after receiving Rs 40 crore today: Transport Minister

Transport Minister Antony Raju.
Transport Minister Antony Raju. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Salaries for Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees will be distributed as promised, Transport Minister Antony Raju assured on Tuesday.

"The Finance Department will transfer Rs 40 crore for payment of salaries today. The decision on festival allowance will be taken by evening after discussions with union representatives," the Minister said.

It will take at least two days to complete proceedings once the file carrying the order of financial assistance reaches the Transport Department, which will again send it back to the Finance Department.

August 22 is the last date for payment of July's salary as per the promise doled out by Finance Minister K N Balagopal, after the ministerial-level talks. The inordinate delay has already made the life of the corporation employees difficult as many of them are struggling to pay rent, support children’s education, etc, and even make two ends meet. KSRTC employees are awaiting their salaries even as the Onam festival started.

Meanwhile, pensioners are yet to receive their pension amounts for July and August. Though an order, sanctioning Rs 71 crore, was issued five days ago, the amount is yet to be handed over to the beneficiaries.

The government earlier announced a special festival allowance of Rs 2,750 to KSRTC employees. However, to provide this, the financially ailing KSRTC will need to source another Rs 7 crore.

This comes at a time when the KSRTC is struggling to operate Onam services, which usually rake in good revenues. The oil companies have made it clear they will provide diesel only if the corporation clears Rs 13 crore dues pending from fuel purchase. The corporation won’t be able to operate the services for more than 10 days during the Onam festival if it defaults.  

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