The cash-strapped Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is contemplating sending ‘willing’ officials and employees on one-year leave without pay.
KSRTC Managing Director Shivayogi C. Kalasad has sought the opinion of his counterparts in BMTC, NEKRTC and NWKRTC on this matter. As the parent organisation, KSRTC frames rules for employees of road transport corporations.
The letter addressed to the MDs stated that Corporations are facing financial difficulties as they are not in a position to operate bus services with full capacity.
The terms and conditions of the draft policy brought out by the KSRTC states that ‘one-year special leave’ applies for permanent employees of the Corporations. Those who opt for leave are eligible to get promotions as per their service records after they report back for duty. However, they cannot seek financial help from the Corporations during the duration of leave. Employees can resign from their jobs while being on leave without pay.
The move has drawn criticism from KSRTC Staff and Workers Federation. H.V. Ananthasubbarao, the president of the federation, has demanded that the proposal be withdrawn. The Federation maintains that though KSRTC claims that only willing employees can avail leave without pay, he cited the possibility of officials forcing employees at the depot level to do so, he said in a release.
In a press release, KSRTC MD said that they are only seeking opinions on the proposal. No order has been issued. He said that, in the past, the Corporations were providing up to five years of leave for employees who wanted to study further or needed time off for health reasons and other emergency situations. He reiterated that employees will not be forced to go on leave without pay.
After imposition of lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, all the Corporations were badly hit financially. They have been relying on the State government’s support to pay salaries of staff. Sources said that this move will lessen the financial burden on the Corporations.