5 months on, pensions worth crores lying pending with PRTC
Even as the government promised to release funds for paying long-pending pensions to the PRTC retirees last month, there are no signs of the issue getting resolved anytime soon.punjab Updated: Dec 19, 2014 20:27 IST
Even as the government promised to release funds for paying long-pending pensions to the PRTC retirees last month, there are no signs of the issue getting resolved anytime soon.
According to the sources, the deteriorating financial health of the corporation (PRTC) has forced it to stall the payments worth crores of rupees to the employees of Pepsu Road Transport Corporation for more than five months now.
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) general secretary Suresh Sood said, "It is more than five months since thousands of roadways employees received their pensions and other benefits. Following passive attitude on the part of the top corporation authorities, the retirees union had jointly filed a writ with the Punjab and Haryana high court. In the last hearing of the matter in October this year, the government ensured the PRTC that they would make partial payments of Rs 23 crore on November 7, while rest of the dues in the form of gratuity, leave encashment, dearness allowance and arrears, which is around Rs 19 crore will be paid on December 7. But much to the dismay of its employees, the corporation failed to meet both the deadlines."
An official, requesting anonymity, said, "It is the unnecessary political intervention in the dealings of the PRTC that has worsened the situation in the state, as they have been laying emphasis on contract system and privatisation of transport sector."
"Government used to provide financial aid to the corporation on monthly-basis for its smooth functioning a decade ago, but ever since they have stopped the aid, the corporation is on the verge of collapsing. It is only after the union members in the state took to statewide protests to raise their demands. Following this, the government officials swung into action and assured them to pay the pensions, but nothing concrete has been done afterwards," the official said.
More than 1,800 employees are currently working in nine depots-Kapurthala, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Barnala, Bathinda, Faridkot, Budhlada, Sangrur and Patiala-of the PRTC.
When contacted, PRTC Patiala head office managing director Rajeev Parashar said, "The corporation is fund starved as of now. We are waiting for the release of the payments, and as soon as we receive them, we will clear all pending dues and pensions of the retirees. We have raised our demands with the government and it should not take more than two weeks to make the payments."