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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 25 – An ailing state-run Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is mulling to float the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for its eligible workers.
Whenever in opposition, the CPI(M) has always promised to revive the sagging fortunes of the state public utility which was formed in 1965. It made profits only in its first year.
But even after nearly seven-year rule of Vijayan, the condition is appallingly poor and their rhetoric has failed to work, leaving a huge majority of the KSRTC employees and pensioners who belong to the Left trade union reeling under distress.
It is at this time, the management has been seriously considering going for the VRS, to all employees who have completed either 20 years in service or crossed 50 years of age.
This move, according to management, will remove around 7,500 employees of the present 26,000 employees from the rolls.
Since KSRTC is unable to meet its expenses from its revenues, successive governments regularly pump in funds and on most occasions the salaries and pensions made by the KSRTC always get delayed.
Now, all eyes are on if the management will be given the nod for going forward with the VRS by the Vijayan government.
According to sources, the management proposes to give Rs 15 lakhs to those who opt for VRS but will give other benefits only after they achieve the age of 56 years.
When asked, State Transport Minister Antony Raju said nothing has been decided as yet and various trade unions will have to cooperate.
The management expects that if the VRS scheme gets through, they will be able to see a good number of active trade union leaders bidding adieu to KSRTC.
Also, around Rs 1,200 crore would be needed to clear the dues and other benefits.