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TSRTC unions urge government not to pass on burden to public
- Govt should fully extend liberal aid to corporation to tide over crisis
- The government should consider decreasing the VAT on diesel at least during the pandemic to save the corporation
- It should provide a grant of Rs 3,000 crore so that Centre would pay matching grant in view of its 33% in RTC
- Every time bus fare charges were increased, the occupancy ratio decreased in proportion to it
Hyderabad: Even as the TSRTC officials proposed fare hike as the only option for sustaining the loss-making Corporation, experts and unions are against any price hike and wanted the government to come to the rescue by providing funds at least 1 per cent of the total budget.
The union leaders felt that any price hike at this juncture, especially after the pandemic where the people had suffered a lot, would result in passengers opting for their own vehicles. They have suggested measures for bringing the RTC back on track.
Former trade union leader and former director of the undivided Corporation M Nageswara Rao said that the first thing the government should do was to exempt the TSRTC from paying all types of taxes for a period of two years. Giving an example, the former trade union leader said that from 2014-15 to 2017-18 RTC spent Rs 4,437 crore and paid Rs 1,084 crore to Centre as excise duty and Rs 943 crore to State government in the form of VAT.
The government should consider decreasing the VAT on diesel at least during the pandemic to save the corporation. The government should provide a grant of Rs 3,000 crore so that the Centre would also pay the matching grant with its 33 per cent share in the Corporation.
The TSRTC Staff Workers Federation (SWF) urged the government not to make the workers as villains in front of the people. The SWF leader VS Rao said that every time the charges increased, the occupancy ratio decreased in the buses. He said that the chief minister who promised to allocate Rs 1,000 crore in the budget of 2019-20 did not even allocate the reimbursement money to the Corporation. If the RTC had to come back on track, the government should provide one per cent funds in the budget.
The RTC Employees Union stressed on the need to decrease the official staff. The EU general secretary K Raji Reddy said that the five tier system which was being implemented in the Corporation was not needed and only the three tier system should be in place. Explaining the system, Raji Reddy said that under the Executive director there would be a Regional Manager and under RM, there will be divisional manager and under DM there will be assistant manager. Instead of so many officials, the Corporation can have a three-tier system and the zones and divisions can be removed and districts as a unit can be maintained. The expenditure needs to be reduced. When 800 buses were decreased, 5,000 workers were decreased. Why not the number of officials also be decreased, he asked.