Karnataka: RTCs propose bus fare hike to balance rising costs

The issue was raised at a meeting presided by the Principal Secretary of the Transport Department N V Prasad recently
Last Updated : 07 September 2022, 22:46 IST

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Amid growing discontent over delayed wage hike, the state road transport corporations (RTCs) have told the Transport Department that they are ready to consider the demand for increments if the government allows them to increase bus fares to make up for the losses caused by increased expenditure.

The issue was raised at a meeting presided by the Principal Secretary of the Transport Department N V Prasad recently. The meeting was called following a set of demands placed before the government by the Joint Action Committee of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporations Workers' Associations.

The KSRTC officials told the secretary that the RTCs have to follow the Finance Department's circular on salary revision in public sector undertakings. The circular advises salary hikes in corporations which are profitable.

"The KSRTC managing director pointed out that the corporation's financial condition was too weak to afford salary increments. The corporation is spending about 55% of its revenue on providing salary and is finding it difficult to purchase diesel in the remaining amount. The last time bus fares were hiked was in January 2020. Since then, diesel price has nearly doubled. Revision of bus fares or provision of viability gap funding were two available options if the corporations have to function smoothly," sources in the department said.

The transport secretary has also sought details on the number of employees dismissed for participating in the RTC workers' strike. He also advised the heads of the corporations to take steps on the demand for overtime allowance, rest rooms, toilets and drinking water facilities for the employees and other matters.

Over the last few months, the joint action committee has been writing to the department as well as the chief minister, raising the issue of salary revision, a demand pending for several years.

Published 07 September 2022, 17:06 IST

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