KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) Pensioners have been on struggle for the last few months demanding that their pension should be paid in time and that the arrears for the last few months also should be paid. Since the KSRTC is in loss, it was only through heavy loans that even the salary is paid to the employees. The pensioners have been sitting on dharna in front of the State Secretariat and in front of the KSRTC district depots for the last few months demanding the the government ahould take over the responsibility of paying pension. All the trade unions in the state, irrespective of political affiliations have been supporting the struggle. I had participated and addressed many of these dharnas with the latest in front of Secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram on 8th February.
Two days back, the government had discussions with the pensioners’ unions and decision was intimated that all the arrears will be paid immediately and future pension will be paid in time. The government in its budget has allocated Rs. 10,000 crore for strengthening the KSRTC, for purchasing new buses and revamping the operations. The unions have called off the agitation on this assurance.
Out of the total 40 state PSUs, which were almost all in loss during the UDF rule, 12 are already made profitable by maximum efforts of the government and the workers. The allocation of sufficient funds and revamping is expected to bring KSRTC to better position.
This the difference between the approach of the BJP ruled centre and the LDF ruled Kerala state. While the former is privatising / closing down the PSUs one after another through its anti-PSU policy, the LDF government in Kerala is making all out efforts to strengthen the PSUs.
Congratulations to both the KSRTC pensioners for their struggle and success and the government for its support to the pensioners!