Following the failure of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) to clear pending dues of its retired employees as per orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court, senior officials have been directed to appear before the state's highest judicial body on August 26.
However, the transport corporation's authorities are set to meet deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to discuss the issue and prepare a response on August 25, a day before the scheduled court appearance.
It may be recalled that the high court attached the salaries of PRTC's managing director , chairman and general managers posted at all PRTC depots, in May.
The decision came after the court had set May 7 as the deadline to settle the pensioners' dues, but the PRTC management failed to do so.
As per available information, the PRTC is the only state corporation which faces over 100 contempt cases for not paying mandatory dues to employees, despite repeated court orders.
Meanwhile, the cash-strapped body's financial crises deepen as the state government failed to provide assistance. It is already reeling under liabilities to the tune of Rs 145 crore and has not been able to secure funds to release monthly pension amounts to over 3,500 retired employees for June and July.
PRTC chairman Avtar Singh Brar had said that the situation was turning embarrassing for them with the PRTC's financial health deteriorating by the day.
Brar said, "The deputy CM has been briefed about the court hearing scheduled for August 26. We have also requested the state's help to improve the PRTC's situation."
Saying that a high-level meeting of Punjab's chief secretary, transport secretary, finance secretary and the PRTC's managing director was scheduled, he added, "The deputy CM has been informed that if we do not arrive at concrete measures, the high court may pass an order which would be disastrous for the future of the transport corporation."
The PRTC owes about Rs 142 crore towards the retirement benefits of employees who have superannuated over the past four years.
Pension commutation ------- Rs 30 crore
General provident fund---Rs 50 crore
Gratuity--------------------------Rs 30 crore
Employee provident fund ---------Rs 23 crore
Pending leave encashment --- Rs 8 crore
Medical bills' reimbursement-----over Rs 1 crore