Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao will be embarking on a novel initiative of consulting the TSRTC employees directly to finalise measures for bailing out the cash-starved corporation and ensure their welfare..
The proposed meeting between employees and the Chief Minister in Hyderabad on Sunday has already evoked interest among different sections of society. This is, perhaps, the first time a Chief Minister is directly speaking to employees, who are major stakeholders in the corporation. As a precursor to the interaction with RTC employees, the Chief Minister on Saturday held a meeting with Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar, TSRTC incharge Managing Director, Sunil Sharma, and other senior officials on the possible expectations of employees and to chalk out immediate and long term plans for reviving the corporation and to transform it into a profit-making entity. The Chief Minister will also review the initiatives to be taken up after gathering the opinions of the workers who have field level knowledge of functioning of the corporation. In the past, the Chief Minister had convened a few meetings with TSRTC officials and unions to deliberate on the initiatives to be taken to get the loss-making corporation back on track. Five employees, including two women from each depot, are likely to participate in the meeting. “No Chief Minister conducted a meeting with employees directly and we are confident that our issues will be addressed,” said an employee. Apart from employees’ welfare, emphasis will be on financial situation of the corporation and steps to be taken to revive the revenue sources and generate profits. It is said that the government would circulate a detailed note on the status of corproation drafted in Telugu to the participants. The Chief Minister is expected to begin the discussions by speaking first and then gathering the opinions of the employees. Significantly, no leader of the employees’ unions is being invited to the meeting. After gathering the opinions of all the employees, the Government would come out with a detailed plan of action for implementation. The Chief Minister is also expected to have lunch with the participants of the meeting. According to the detailed note prepared by the Government for the occasion, the corporation has accumulated a loss of Rs 928 crore during 2018-2019, despite the government pumping in a financial assistance of Rs. 662.39 crore. While, the revenue generated was Rs.4882.72 crore, the expenditure incurred was Rs.5811.39 crore. Of the total revenue generated, Rs.2, 829 crore was spent towards employees’ salaries. The document maintained that TSRTC’s total accumulated losses as on August 31, 2019 are Rs.5,269.25 crore. The corporation is stuck in neck-deep debts and as on November 21, 2019, the outstanding loans are Rs.2958.57 crore, including the Rs.845 crore government loans. Setting aside the government loans, the corporation still needs to cough up Rs.2784.30 crore, including the bonds to employees (Rs.280 crore to be paid by October 2020) and interest on the loans. And, the Rs.2784 crore loans have to be cleared by November 2024. Meanwhile, RTC National Mazdoor union leaders Kamala Reddy, Narender and Ashok appealed to the Chief Minister to consider the strike period as leave due. They wanted the State government to avoid late evening duties for women employees, especially lady conductors, besides provision of rest rooms and child care leave facilities. They also stressed on measures for ensuring job security to employees..