HYDERABAD: The management of AP State Road Transport Corporation is contemplating freezing 20 per cent of employees' salaries till June as cash inflows are slackening on account of it being the lean season. The lean season is expected to last till the second week of April.
The corporation plans to pay the arrears to the employees along with minimum interest later in the year. This is one of the options studied by the executive directors two days ago. If employees agree to the proposal, the corporation will have a relief of Rs 50 crore. The corporation has about 1.22 lakh employees and the monthly wage bill is Rs 250 crore.
But employee unions are opposed to the move. APSRTC National Mazdoor Union working president M Nageshwara Rao, said, "The corporation should look for other avenues than penalising the employees for no fault of theirs," he said. The corporation has been incurring losses due to increase in maintenance expenditure and the diesel cost. According to officials, the organisation has incurred a loss of Rs 262 crore this financial year and the accumulated losses over the years is `2,000 crore.
The corporation suddenly is finding itself in a tight spot because the RTC, known for being cash-rich, is now facing liquidity problem.
Apart from freezing salaries by 20 percent, the management is keen on saving expenditure on fuel. Due to lack of improvement in the passenger occupancy ratio, the authorities are forced to cancel some services every day which is leading to losses. RTC officials are keen on improving occupancy ratio to 72 as against the present 69 percent. The organisation is also planning to improve the occupancy ratio by maintaining punctuality and providing quality service.
According to officials, banks are not coming forward to provide loans because they had already given to the maximum extent. The government is not going to its rescue since its financial position too is not very comfortable.
Now the organisation is spending Rs 24.63 paisa per km and but is getting only Rs 22.92 paisa per km in return. The immediate task before it is to ensure that the gap is bridged at the earliest by ushering in reforms.
RTC officials have decided to motivate the drivers and see each driver save two litters of diesel by avoiding unscheduled stops, switching off AC when the vehicle is in not in motion, etc. If officials can ensure this, there can be a saving of as much as Rs 20 crore a month. It was decided to operate all services regularly as 1,500 to 2,000 services are not being operated in the state on any day due to shortage of staff.