TSRTC to exist; staff to be part of Govt, CS clarifies to Governor

Telangana Chief Secretary A Santhi Kumar gave a point by point clarification of all the doubts raised by the Governor with regard to the TSRTC Bill, 2023 on Saturday

TSRTC to exist; staff to be part of Govt, CS clarifies to Governor

HYDERABAD: “Salaries of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees will be much better than what they are drawing in the Corporation after their absorption into the Government,” said the Telangana Government on Saturday in response to the clarification sought by Governor Dr Tamilsai Soundarrajan.

A copy of the point by point clarification was sent by Telangana Chief Secretary A Santhi Kumari to Raj Bhavan. Earlier, Governor dashed a letter to the State Government seeking clarifications of the TSRTC Bill including Central grants, shares and loans and other assistance for TSRTC since 1958 and comprehensive details on changing the status of TSRTC under Schedule IX of the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Act, 2014.

The other clarifications included treatment of TSRTC employees on a par with the Government employees, whether the Industrial Disputes Act and Labor laws were applicable to their problems and how their benefits would be protected, details regarding whether all TSRTC employees would get pensions on a par with the State Government employees and TSRTC employees and other benefits in matters relating to their promotions and their cadre normalisation as there were no posts like conductor, controller, etc. among the government employees.

Giving a point by point clarification of all the doubts raised by the Governor with regard to the TSRTC (Absorption of Employees into Government Service) Bill, Chief Secretary A Santhi Kumar said that equity contributions of the State and Central Government to the APSRTC in the United State were Rs 140.20 crore and Rs.61.07 crore respectively. The proposed Bill provided only for absorption of the establishment of the TSRTC into Government service. The TSRTC would continue to function as its existing legal entity and form in all other respects after absorption of its employees into the Government.

After the merger, the Corporation Board would continue as the Apex Body of the TSRTC under the provisions of the RTC Act, 1950, to manage the issues pertaining to equity, loan, grant or other assistance of the Government of India and other related matters. Therefore, it was not necessary to mention any of these details in the Statement of Objects and Reasons, she said. The nature of the Corporation would not be changed till the bifurcation issues were settled. The issues pertaining to bifurcation were under examination by the Centre, after submission of views by both the State Governments, Santhi Kumari said.

“The applicability of the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act after absorption of the TSRTC employees into Government service, would be as per the provisions of the said Act. No provision in this regard is required in the proposed Bill. The interests of the existing employees are best served by absorption into the State Government, which in fact is one of the main objectives of the proposed Bill,” the Chief Secretary said.

Stating categorically that there was no ambiguity in the proposed Bill in regard to the applicability of pension provisions or other provisions applicable to government employees to the TSRTC employees, post their absorption into government service. Sections 4 and 5 empowered the Government to frame, by notification, such provisions in this regard as might be necessary in the interests of the employees, she said.

“Till such time a considered view is taken on these matters by the Government, after discussing the matter with all the stakeholders, the Bill provides that the existing rules and regulations governing TSRTC employees would continue to apply in the interim period. Sections 4 and 5 of the proposed Bill were within the permitted norms of delegated legislation. No employee would be put to any hardship in terms of salaries and allowances. There is no bar to continuing the various categories and cadres present in TSRTC, post their absorption in government service also, by framing suitable service rules in that regard,” Santhi Kumar said.

The Chief Secretary also said that the limited object of the Bill was to provide an exception to the provisions of the Telangana Prohibition of Employees of State Government Public Sector Undertakings into Public Service Act, 1997 State Act 14 of 1997 which prohibited absorption of employees working in PSUs into public service and matters related thereto. In view of the clarification given, the Chief Secretary also requested that the Governor recommend the proposed Bill to be introduced and considered in the Telangana State Legislature.

Meanwhile, Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU) General Secretary Thomas Reddy said, ”We appeal to the Governor to approve the proposed TSRTC Bill mooted by the Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) to benefit the families of 43,000 RTC employees in Telangana. In return, Governor has responded positively to the proposed Bill and assured us of extending all necessary support to the TSRTC employees."

Earlier, TSRTC employees took out a rally with black badges from Khairatabad junction to Raj Bhavan to lay siege to Raj Bhavan as a mark of protest against Governor’s delay in giving her nod to the TSRTC Bill. Similar protests were also held in various parts of Telangana on Saturday. Though the RTC worker unions had announced a two-hour protest from 6 am to 8 am, the protest continued beyond 8 am at some depots. Buses at various depots remained at the depots during the protest.

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