Despite pepsu road transport corporation (PRTC) gripped in severe financial crisis since the past several years, neither PRTC management nor Punjab government has apparently lost hope of reviving the old glory of the public transport corporation.
At present, the liabilities of PRTC have touched `348 crore, which include around `200 crore of pending payments of its pensioners and `148 crore which PRTC yet to pay the state government.
The pensioners of PRTC haven't their pensions for past four months, while the present employees are awaiting their monthly salaries. The piles of contempt cases filed by its pensioners to get retiree benefits are testimony to the poor financial condition of PRTC.
In such conditions, it's won't be an easy job for the newly appointed managing director Manjit Singh Narang to bring it back on the track.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Narang talks about the challenges and his plan to revamp PRTC.
Q: What are the major challenges for reviving old glory of PRTC?
Ans: First of all, bringing discipline in the functioning is one of the utmost challenge as collective efforts are needed for the safe future of PRTC. It is a dire need to change the attitude of the working officials and employees and make them carry an optimistic approach. The officials have adopted a very negative attitude about revival of PRTC. The general managers of all the depots have been strictly directed to maintain decorum and insisted to rise above their vested interests in order to work for development of the corporation.
Q: The PRTC pensioners are worst hit from the company's poor financial condition. How are you going to make arrangements to settle liabilities of over `200 crore?
Ans: Settling the dues of pensioners will be dealt on the priority basis and for this purpose, the efforts have already started. We are trying to get maximum funds from state government. We have given pension for the August 2014, and the bill of over `13crore has been submitted recently, which would help us give two months pension to all the pensioners. Moreover, we have sent bills of `39 crore to state finance department for further clearance. The pensioners will be given their retiree benefits including general provident fund (GPF), gratuity and other payments at the earliest to avoid any further contempt petitions in the courts.
Q: Since monthly revenue generation failed to gain momentum, isn't it impossible for PRTC to meet monthly committed expenditure.
Ans: The revenue generation is another big challenge as our income is much lesser than monthly expenditure. Presently, we are generating income of `21crore against committed expenditure of `26 crore. Therefore, we have decided to increase day wise revenue by `85 lakh instead of `70 lakh now. The directions have already been passed to all general managers as increase of `15 lakh per day, would help to bear expenditure on giving salaries, pensions and other miscellaneous things. Moreover, we are going to back 150 buses back on the road which were halted due to shortage of staff, besides adding 250 new buses to our fleet.
Q: The mushrooming of private transporters is said to be main reason behind decline of PRTC. Is there any special plan to end monopoly of private transporters?
Ans: We have no clash with private transporters. These transporters have very limited and selected customers as maximum number of people opt for state run transport due to their low prices. Moreover, we are going to start process of getting back the routes which we surrendered in the past due to shortage of staff. Regular checking will be carried at bus stands to ensure no violation of norms by private transporters.
Q: From here, where do you see the future of PRTC?
Ans: We are hopeful and trying our best to bring it back on the track. Implementing new ideas and properly supervising of whole system from conductors to drivers and from administrative staff to general managers would help us achieve our goal