In what would come as relief to hundreds of retired employees of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), the Punjab government has taken a decision to allow the PRTC to dispose of its assets worth Rs 250 crore to be able to pay off liabilities of pension and other retirement benefits.
The government has also given approval to release Rs crore due to PRTC in lieu of the free/concessional travel in next two months. Also, the state government will provide Rs 4.5 crore per month for 18 months to meet committed expenditure.
The information was submitted before the Punjab and Haryana high court by Anurag Aggarwal, transport secretary, during resumed hearing of contempt-of-court petitions filed since 2012 by retired employees seeking release of their dues.
Rajiv Prashar, managing director of PRTC, informed the court that of the total assets of PRTC, five properties in Patiala, Bathinda and Phagwara could be disposed of.
Aggarwal told the court headed by justice Augustine George Masih on Friday that it has also been decided that Rs 148.6 crore recoverable from PRTC on account of various items had been deferred for one year. PRTC has to pay the state government an outstanding token tax Rs 52.23 crore, Rs 7.76 crore special road tax, Rs 62.69 crore motor vehicle tax, Rs 25.92 crore outstanding loan with interest, and payment of future motor vehicle tax.
On HC directions, PRTC had submitted a representation to the government on September 8 that was considered by authorities under the chairmanship of the state finance minister.
The PRTC submitted that funds available with employee fund trust were exhausted by October 2010, and that PRTC needed state funding or merger with Punjab Raodways.