THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a fresh development in KSRTC’s attempt to address the issues of its pensioners and tide over its current crisis, the Finance Department has agreed to provide funds under Plan assistance for the corporation while rejecting the proposal for a special pension fund.
It seems the KSRTC pensioners may have to wait longer on the pension issue as the discussion convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday to work out a solution to the issue ended without any immediate solution on giving pension.
The Finance Minister agreed to provide plan fund for a package that would include assistance for pension also. The funds provided as plan assistance would be flexible and can be used to tide over the present crisis.
The Finance Department was asked to submit the proposal in this regard on Friday itself. Sources said that an substantial amount would be given to KSRTC.
The KSRTC currently needs `114 crore to pay arrears of the pensioners but the Finance Department offered no immediate solution to this.
“The Finance Department rejected the proposal for the special pension fund but asked to submit a fresh proposal incorporating other proposals also. We will submit the proposal on before Friday afternoon,’’ Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told ‘Express. On when the pension arrears could be settled, the minister gave no clear-cut answer.
The KSRTC was asked to work out new initiatives so that it can reach the breakeven stage within a year. Restructuring loans, measures to increase revenue, bringing down employee ratio and deploying more buses on economical routes should be part of the measures of be adopted to reach a breakeven position.
The Finance Department had approved of the proposal for collecting social security cess from passengers.
Sources in the Finance Department said that KSRTC has been asked to submit a package for the complete revival of the Corporation.
“Money will be disbursed from the plan fund if KSRTC submits the proposal. It is not possible to provide money to form a pension fund as demanded by the KSRTC for it will lead to an unhealthy precedent as the other corporations in the state will come up with similar demands,’’ a source said.
The Finance Department has however agreed to the proposal to introduce insurance cover for passengers of the state utility which was mooted by the KSRTC. The idea is to give insurance cover for the passengers through a cess on tickets. ‘’The Finance Department has also agreed to provide assistance to strengthen the KSRTC including infrastructure development,’’ Thiruvanchoor said.