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State govt announces 20 per cent bonus for transport corporation staff
Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Friday announced 20 per cent bonus to the staff of State transport corporations, which will benefit around 1.44 lakh transport employees, including 6,416 alternative staff for the year 2017-18.
The move will also cost the exchequer to the tune of Rs 215.99 crore. Accordingly, all the eligible workers would get 20 per cent bonus that includes 1.67 per cent ex-gratia.
An official release said that taking into account the increasing price of diesel, the government has given a subsidy of Rs 198.66 crore to tide over the additional expenditure incurred by the transport corporations for the period January 20, 2018 to September 30.
In addition, the state government also settled retirement benefit arrears to the tune of Rs 251 crore from December 2017 to March 2018 despite severe financial crisis.
Accordingly, the retirement benefits include provident fund to 1,113 retired staff, gratuity to 1,576 people, earned leave arrears to 1,837 employees, and several other settlements under the new contributory pension scheme.
Meanwhile, Minister of Transport MR Vijayabhaskar, at a media conference held at the Secretariat on Friday, announced that the State will give monthly fuel subsidy towards the State Transport Corporation with an aim to improve the financial situation.
The decision of the government comes at a juncture when the Corporation is incurring a loss of Rs 11 lakh per day owing to the increase in fuel prices in the recent times.
Workers’ strike called off after relief announcements
As many as 40,000 workers associated with the confederation of various Transport Workers’ Unions on Friday organised a sit in protest across 320 depots across the state. However, it was called off following announcements made by Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar.
The Secretary of Labor Progressive Federation, K Natarajan, said, “The Unions made the decision on Thursday evening following a tip off from a reliable source. We received an information that the state government has decided not to yield to the demands of the workers. Hence, the Confederation resorted to sit in protest.”
President of the State Employees Union, P Balakrishnan, said, “The government has partially fulfilled our demands. They have agreed to grant bonuses for reserve workers which was a primary demand of the Unions. The two major demands in front of the government is to reduce the wide difference between the income and expenditure of the Corporation and recovery of Rs 7,000 crore which was reportedly misappropriated.”
The government has assured that decisions over granting special Diwali advance of Rs 5,000 and the pending DA arrears for 9 months will be announced at the Confederation meeting which will be organised on October 29 at the DMS premises. Also, the government has accepted to overturn the leave which was marked when hundreds of workers staged a demonstration in front of the Secretariat on October 4. Earlier, the government had decided to deduct one day’s salary of the workers.