To cut cost in the form of subsidies to the state-owned transport corporation and other state-owned transport PSUs,Transport minister Madan Mitra on Friday instructed the corporation to introduce voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for its employees.
As the subsidy has reached an alarming stage about Rs 700 crore annually it would be very difficult to provide for the same,Mitra said. According to Mitra,the government bears about Rs 600 crore for the five state transport corporations and Rs 85 crore for another 57 state-owned transport PSUs. Therefore,reduction of work force could reduce the subsidy amount,he said.
The five corporation have 20,000 employees. Mitra said the VRS would help reduce the number by at least 50 per cent,and make the transport corporation profitable.
Mitra said that a section of employees were identified as surplus,and another section was reluctant to work properly. Therefore,the reduction of employees would not hit the services of the transport corporations. A medical board would be set up to examine the employees,Mitra said.
In January,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had instructed the transport corporations to increase the income so as to reduce the subsidy burden. Mitra today said the corporations had succeeded in increasing the income in the last few month but it was not enough.
,because of which reduction of work force was necessary to reduce the subsidy burden,he added.
The officials of the transport department,however,said that it was not clear how the government would arrange the huge amount for the implementation of the VRS.
After the meeting with the top officials,Mitra said the scrap vehicles dumped in the several places would be sold. According to Mitra,the transport corporation would try to generate the income from advertisements to be displayed on the buses and a committee would look into the matter.
Besides,the transport department also stressed on reorganising of bus routes to generate more income.
The transport minister also asked the officials to identify surplus land of the corporations at several location and to submit the report within a week. The officials hinted that the surplus land could be commercially utilised to generate income.
As a large number of private buses and taxis did not ply on Thursday during the bandh,Mitra said that in future,the transport department would take control over private buses and taxis before a bandh and would run them. An action plan is being prepared to implement the decision,he added.