HYDERABAD: Both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State governments vied with each other Wednesday to please RTC employees. If AP, after protracted talks with the striking unions, agreed to pay 43 per cent fitment to the employees, hours later, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao went a step further and announced 44 per cent hike. Though the APSRTC has not yet been divided between the two States, the talks for pay revision were conducted separately by both the governments. The assets, liabilities and staff of the corporation will be shared most likely by this month-end. The hiked salaries mean an annual additional burden of Rs960 crore on Andhra’s RTC and Rs821 crore on TSRTC. The AP government will pay salary arrears for three months in two instalments from this month - the arrears will have to be paid for the period April 2013 to April 2015. The remaining balance of arrears will be paid to the employees at the time of retirement. Its Telangana counterpart will pay half of the arrears in three instalments from October.
The remaining 50 per cent arrears will be given in the form of five-year bonds. “The 43 per cent fitment will put an additional burden of Rs960 crore and the arrears will put an additional burden of Rs1,200 crore on APSRTC,” AP Transport Minister Siddha Raghava Rao said. The AP government, however, ruled out an immediate tariff hike. But Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao made it clear that there will be a marginal hike in fares in the State. The APSRTC unions, however, failed to bargain with the government about the strike period salary and cases filed against them. In contrast, KCR announced that all cases filed against TSRTC workers and five suspension cases would be lifted immediately. Earlier in the day, a vacation bench of the Hyderabad High court initiated contempt proceedings against the RTC employees’ union leaders for defying its orders to call off the strike. It issued showcause notices to them asking why action should not be initiated against them under the Contempt of Courts Act. The bench, comprising Justice KC Bhanu and Justice MSK Jaiswal, gave liberty to the state governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to take disciplinary action against the employees.