Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister Mr K Chandrashekhar Rao has brushed aside the proposal of holding talks on demand of merger with the state government while calling for a union less transport corporation. The High Court asked the State government to hold talks with the striking RTC employees. The ongoing strike entered 18 days on October 22, 2019. However, the State government has decided to consider the other demands of the RTC employees. Towards this, the state government has set up a committee comprising Transport Commissioner Sunil Sharma and six other officials on the 21 demands of RTC employees as suggested by the High Court.
he committee will submit the report within two days. The committee members are Transport Commissioner Sunil Sharma, Executive Directors T Venkateshwara Rao, C Vinod Kumar, E Yadagir, V Venkateshwarlu and financial advisor N Ramesh.
"The court order issued by the High Court Chief Justice clearly mentioned what the counsel of RTC unions informed the court that they're not firm on the merger issue. The unions during the hearing said that they had never said that unless the merger issue is accepted, they wouldn't be participating in the talks with the state government. That's what RTC unions' advocate Prakash Reddy informed the court. And the High Court order also asked the state government to consider the other 21 demands of employees. As per the court direction, we have to examine all these 21 demands. The committee will study and submit its report," said the Chief Minister KCR.
The Chief Minister has further directed the TSRTC management to issue a notification for hiring 1,000 buses as early as possible.
After discussing several issues pertaining to the ongoing RTC strike and demands of employees at length, the Chief Minister has decided not to hold talks with unions.
During the review meeting at Pragati Bhavan, the Chief Minister reportedly inclined to hold talks with the RTC unions. The Chief Minister wants TSRTC without unions. He strongly believes that without unions, the transport corporation will become profitable, said an official.
The Chief Minister further opined that the High Court wouldn't ask the state government to hike salaries when the TSRTC is incurring losses.
"What happened when Allwyn was declared lock-out? I don't want TSRTC to become another Allwyn in Telangana. Considering the current situation, if striking employees want their jobs back, it's not possible. Few unions proposed to us that they're ready to call off the strike if an assurance is given. The state government doesn't need to compromise with the unions. The State government is very firm on protecting TSRTC and its interests," said KCR during the review meeting.
Mr KCR has directed the officials to make a strong argument on the financial performance of TSRTC to the High Court.
The review meeting was held in the backdrop of the High Court asking the State government to hold talks with the unions. The state government received the court order copy and held a review meeting on the future course of action amid ongoing RTC strike.
Highlighting the double standard practices of BJP and Congress, the Chief Minister said that the national parties never implemented what they're demanding now.
"State governments have the power to privatize RTC routes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government brought a law empowering the states on privatizing the RTC routes. Contrary, the BJP leaders in Telangana voicing concerns against privatization of routes. During the regime of Digvijay Singh, the RTC in Madhya Pradesh was closed down," maintained Mr KCR.
The TRS supremo further recalled that the then Prime Minister late Jawaharlal Nehru made Motor Vehicle Act in 1950. According to this Act, several RTCs were formed in states. The NDA government revised section-3 of Motor Vehicle Act-1950 during 2019 budget session.
"Under Motor Vehicle (Amendment), Act-2019 facilitates the privatization of RTC routes. The Act envisages that encouraging private sector for a healthy competition. The Centre also announced that air fare and mobile tariff came down due to privatization in aviation and telecom sectors. The Modi-led NDA government further announced mobilization of funds via disinvestment process in PSUs. We're in the process of implementing the law made by the NDA government. Whereas, the BJP leaders in Telangana are acting against the law made by Prime Minister Modi. We'll bring it to the Prime Minister and union transport ministry. The state government will write a letter to the Centre," remarked Mr KCR.
Also Read: https://newsmeter.in/high-court-impact-talks-with-telangana-rtc-unions-in-sight/