KSRTC needs Rs.10 crore to pay the pension arrears for February and another Rs. 37 crore for paying the pension, due from March 5, to the 37,000 personnel who had retired from the transport utility.

The loss-making Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has plunged into a crisis again following the Kerala High Court ruling to settle the pension arrears by March 31 and the inability to get the promised financial assistance from the government.

The KSRTC needs Rs.10 crore to pay the pension arrears for February and another Rs. 37 crore for paying the pension, due from March 5, to the 37,000 personnel who had retired from the transport utility.

Official sources told The Hindu that the Rs.47 crore needed by the KSRTC is in addition to the Rs.50 crore needed for payment of salary to the 35,000 permanent employees on March 31 and wages to 7,000 empanelled staff and another Rs.37 crore for the monthly pension that is due on April 5.

The pension arrears got accumulated as only Rs.9,000 was disbursed to 17,000 retirees in February in view of the financial crisis. The High Court ruling to settle the pension arrears came after the pensioners sought the intervention of the court.

The Corporation is looking forward to the government to overcome the financial crisis as all other funding sources had been exhausted. The government had extended Rs.100 crore recently to the KSRTC to overcome the crisis. Of this, the KSRTC has already availed Rs.57.5 crore in two instalments.

The management is looking forward to get the Rs.42.5 crore from the government to clear the arrears. But, the management is not optimistic in view of the financial crisis faced by the exchequer. The Corporation is also facing a dip in the daily collection from the fleet that is hovering around Rs.4.5 crore. The KSRTC needs Rs.2.5 crore daily for high speed diesel (hsd) which is being purchased at market rates from the designated petrol pumps.

The daily collection is expected to further dip as educational institutions will close for summer vacation. Taking this into account, the KSRTC expects a revenue of Rs.130 crore this month.

The Corporation needs Rs.77.5 crore for settling the fuel bill, Rs.14 crore for court attachments; Rs.35 crore for repayment of loans taken from the Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation (KTDFC) and other funding agencies and Rs.10 crore for spares, tyres, and honouring MACT (Motor Accident Claims Tribunal) awards.

The corporation management has filed a petition in the High Court seeking extension of time for settling the pension arrears.