Will KSRTC lay off 5,000 to cut costs?

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, which is experiencing a financial crisis, is considering getting rid of excess staff across departments as a cost-cutting measure

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The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has been considering getting rid of excess staff from across departments, as it lacks the financial strength to pay them. For some time now, KSRTC has been relying heavily on the financial assistance of the Kerala government to help pay the salaries of its employees every month. Considering that it requires about Rs 100 crore a month just to pay salaries to its staff members, maintaining its huge workforce is becoming quite a challenge.

Therefore, KSRTC is thinking of laying off at least 5,000, some of whom are recent hires, as part of cost-cutting measures. It has put forth a request to the state government to approve the layoffs. In case the proposal is rejected, KSRTC may ask the employees to go on leave for a minimum five years, on half the salary.

Given the pandemic situation in the state, only about 3,300 of the total fleet of about 4,800 buses are plying currently. Various units have been ordered to stop the services that have been incurring losses.

While the revenue of KSRTC was about Rs 21 crore in June, the expenditure on diesel was about Rs 17 crore. In July, the revenue rose to Rs 51 crore but the expenditure on diesel also went up to Rs 43 crore. In August, the figures were Rs 75 crore and Rs 53 crore respectively. With the number of passengers dwindling amidst the pandemic, especially in the afternoons, there seems little hope of revival anytime soon.

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