SRTC may soon be in the red
JUST WHEN it started standing on its feet after two decades of struggle, the UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) again faces the danger of slipping into the red. In what is being seen as a severe setback to the UPSRTC?s fragile financial health, the State Government has asked the Corporation management in no uncertain terms that it would have the first right over UPSRTC?s income to recover its due taxes, irrespective of whether the employees received their salaries or not.Updated: Sep 18, 2006 01:16 IST
JUST WHEN it started standing on its feet after two decades of struggle, the UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) again faces the danger of slipping into the red.
In what is being seen as a severe setback to the UPSRTC’s fragile financial health, the State Government has asked the Corporation management in no uncertain terms that it would have the first right over UPSRTC’s income to recover its due taxes, irrespective of whether the employees received their salaries or not.
“The payment of salaries to the UPSRTC employees could be made only after the Corporation paid 100 per cent passenger/additional taxes due to the Government every month,” said principal secretary (Transport) Rajendra Bhaunwal in his letter dated July 14, 2006 to the UPSRTC MD, adding, “the Finance Controller would be responsible for ensuring this.”
The directions, in fact, came after the UPSRTC employees went on a Statewide ‘Chakka Jam’ on July 11, ignoring Transport Minister Naresh Agrawal’s warning. The Government, via the same letter, has also banned fresh recruitments and purchase of new buses. However, through another latter on August 2, the government withdrew these orders. Interestingly, the letter is silent about the instructions issued for realization of taxes. “After all recruitments and purchase of buses promoted vested interests of many people, including those in the Government,” quipped a senior officer.
Following the Government’s directions, UPSRTC is now paying around Rs 10-15 crore tax every month. Till now, the Corporation had been paying taxes as per its convenience, keeping in mind its financial health.
Last year it paid nearly Rs 105 crore of tax, which came to around 60 per cent of the total tax collection.
Not only this, the Government is also allegedly dilly dallying in giving UPSRTC Rs 30 crore, the amount provided in the Budget for constructing 11 new bus stations as part of Chief Minister’s announcements. The 11 bus stations, of which some have been completed while some are under construction, are at Saifai, Hardoi, Rampur, Ghiraur (Mainpuri), Kishni (Mainpuri), Moradabad, Varanasi, Farukhabad, Thakurdwara (Moradabad) and Varnahal (Mainpuri).
“The Government had promised to give us one third of the revenue collected from passenger tax for carrying out development works.
But now it is talking of adjusting the Rs 30 crore against that amount,” said another senior officer.
All this is taking its toll on the financial health of the Corporation. “It would be very difficult for us to carry out development projects and meet other expenditures related to employees’ in-service and post-retirement benefits,” said the official. He did not rule out the possibility of seeing the Corporation again making losses.