Feel the move will help the organisation wriggle out of serious financial crisis

The State Government’s favourable response to the proposal to merge A.P. State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) in it has raised hopes of the corporation authorities and the workers to finally wriggle out of the serious financial crisis.

The ball has been set rolling for implementation of the proposal with the Government issuing orders on Friday for constitution of a committee to study all aspects of the Corporation and work out modalities for its merger.

The committee, expected to be in place in the next couple of days, will have Joint Secretary from Transport Department, Finance Secretary from the Finance Department, Executive Director (Administration), APSRTC) and Financial Advisor to the APSRTC besides two representatives of the recognised employees union (APSRTC Employees Union) and one from the second largest union (National Mazdoor Union) as its members. It will have to submit its report within 100 days. “Financial restructuring will be the focus area of the committee.

The RTC incurs an additional burden of Rs.600 crore to Rs. 700 crore annually due to frequent hike in diesel price and the organisation is not allowed to hike ticket fares proportionately.

These accumulated losses have touched Rs. 5,000 crore in the last four years. Imagine the magnitude of the problem when such losses occur every fresh year. It is impossible for the Corporation to run the show all by itself,” RTC Employees’ Union State General Secretary K. Padmakar, told The Hindu on Sunday.

Mr. Padmakar, who is most likely to represent the union in the committee to be formed for the RTC merger, is concerned about the mounting debts. “Our demand for wage revision, DA or leave encashment is invariably linked to the losses. While the Corporation is being made to operate to fulfil the targets set by the Government, it is left in the lurch when it comes to financial burden. The Government ought to come forward with some kind of financial relief,” he said.

“The committee has a gigantic task ahead. It will have to study the pattern of work being followed by the Corporations which were merged with the government in other States. We may have to tread cautiously since APSRTC’s fleet of buses is way too bigger in size when compared to any of its counterpart,” said the Employees’ Union zonal secretary Y. Venkateswara Rao.

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