The management of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) told the Telangana High Court on Monday that it has no money to pay salaries for September to the striking employees. The TSRTC informed Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili that the public utility requires Rs 224 crore to pay the salaries to over 48,000 employees while it currently has only Rs 7.5 crore.
Only the officers got their salaries, while the salaries of the rest of the staff are pending due to a severe cash crunch. He said that RTC depends on the government’s financial aid to pay the salaries.
The petitioner argued that since the employees worked during the entire month of September, the non-payment of salaries for the working period is unconstitutional. It also brought to the court’s notice that non-payment of salaries was driving employees to suicides.
Sunil Sharma said that while RTC’s annual income is Rs 4,882 crores, its expenditures are to the tune of Rs 5,269 crores, with nearly Rs 1,200 crore losses every year. Nearly 58 per cent of the income is being spent on the staff’s salaries. After hearing the arguments from both sides, the judge adjourned the hearing to October 29.
The indefinite strike by the TSRTC entered its 17th day on Monday. The strike began on October 5 with a charter of 26 demands, the main being the TSRTC’s merger with the government.