With the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) deciding to sell its properties to settle its liabilities, the trade unions, associated with it, viewed that the step may give interim relief to the management, but it will not serve the intended purpose.
It may be mentioned here that with no financial help from the state government, the PRTC management had told the Punjab and Haryana high court that it would clear pending arrears, pensions and salaries of employees by selling its properties.
The PRTC had to take this decision after the high court tightened noose over the PRTC's ignorant attitude to clear dues of retirees, who had approached the court to get their payments pending for years.
As per available information, it had decided to sell a chunk of prime land at its head office in Patiala and Phagwara in Jalandhar district.
Condemning the decision of the PRTC management, Nirmal Singh Dhaliwal, secretary general of the All India Trade Union Congress, said that this decision would create more problems for the PRTC authorities in future.
"What will PRTC do when the authorities finish selling its properties?" he questioned.
The PRTC has liabilities of over Rs 150 crore towards its retired and working employees.
Members of five unions - All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Karamchari Dal and SC/BC Employees Unions - have also decided to meet the senior officials of PRTC over their decision.
Meanwhile, holding the state government responsible for the poor fiscal condition of the PRTC, Dhaliwal said the Punjab government was responsible for their poor fiscal condition as the former had taken anti-PRTC decisions in transport policies to benefit private and politician-owned transport companies.
"The private transporters are enjoying good business while public transport has been at the verge of closure due to inadequate funds. Instead of selling PRTC properties, the state government should provide immediate funds, besides allocating permanent funds in the annual budget," he said.