Senior officials within Maharashtra State Road and Transport Corporation (MSRTC), have received a three-fold increase in their base salaries. These hikes were pending for the last seven years.
The payment will cover all the 200 high-ranking senior officials, from depot managers to general managers within the transport corporation. They have also been reportedly promised the payment of overdue arrears dating back to 2016.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, MSRTC has faced recurrent financial challenges. Following the initial lockdown, the daily revenue of MSRTC plummeted from Rs 24 crores in the pre-pandemic period to a mere Rs 20 lakhs. This significant drop in income further strained the already poor financial state of MSRTC.
With all the financial challenges, the corporation even postponed the salary for extended periods of 2 to 5 months in the years 2019 and 2020.
In 2021, MSRTC employees initiated a strike that lasted a month long. It began as the transportation workers demanded a salary hike in their basic pay. To end the near-month-long strike, the transport minister, Anil Parab, announced a salary hike for the employees, raising their average increment from Rs 2500 to Rs 5000.
A vital state-owned transportation agency in India, MSRTC was established in 1948. It operates a vast network of bus services across Maharashtra and neighbouring states, including Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. It was formed to provide efficient and affordable road transport services to the people of the state and connect various urban and rural areas within Maharashtra.
It plays a crucial role in providing affordable and accessible public transportation to millions of passengers daily.