Conversion of the Rs.490.5 crore availed from the government over the years into equity, attractive VRS schemes to give golden handshake to the unproductive personnel, recruiting competent professionals to headline functions and a cess on the ticket fare are among the turnaround strategies mooted for the ailing Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC).
The strategies had been suggested as part of the study on financial restructuring of the Corporation in order to set aside the liabilities and to get the realistic projections for the next decade for the State-owned corporation. Manpower assessment study for ascertaining and identifying surplus labour had been recommended.
The Corporation has been asked to seek grant and subsidies for meeting the pension liability through budgetary allocation and financial support by way of grant or subsidy for meeting the cost incurred in providing concessions and discounts in ticket fare to students and others.
A revaluation of 414.85 acres of land owned by it in prime locations close to cities and towns to current market value has been suggested. Assuming an average price of Rs. 5 lakh per cent, the appreciation on revaluation could be around Rs. 2,057 crore. Constructing commercial complexes in the land in a time-bound manner will fetch a rental income of Rs. 127 crore. A cess on the ticket fare on progressive slab basis for fast passenger buses and above linked to the value of tickets chargeable at higher rates for higher fare has been recommended as a minimum of Rs. 100 crore can be generated. Stepping up the percentage of long distance buses from the present 22 per cent to 50 per cent, increase of occupancy ratio by 10 per cent, introduction of daily, weekly and monthly passes and introduction of premium class buses are some of the other suggestions in the turnaround strategies, a copy of which is with The Hindu .
On the repayment of loan availed from the Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation, it has been suggested that the tenure can be rescheduled suitably and the interest rate can be reduced by at least 2 per cent.
The Corporation has also been asked to look into low cost debts by trying to arrange funds from funding agencies like World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
The off-road position has to be reduced substantially through improved maintenance functions and efficient staff management.
For efficiency of operations, the strengthening of zonal office and fixing the accountability through efficient system of budgeting, fixing targets for earning per km, earning per bus and staff ratio has been recommended. A 24 X 7 maintenance and priority on preventive maintenance figure in the report.
Steps for running the KSRTC as per sound governance norms with accountability and transparency and training to improve the efficiency and quality of service has been mooted. Recruiting competent professionals to headline functions has been mooted to professionalise the management. The promotion policy needs to be revised so that management of depots and senior functions are in the hands of professionally qualified and competent professionals.