Hyderabad: Picking cue from the government’s hardline stance, TSRTC told Telangana High Court that it lost nearly Rs 125 crore due to the employees’ ongoing strike during festive seasons. The corporation presently has a meagre Rs 7.49 crore in its accounts while the monthly wage bill of the employees is Rs 239.68 crore. In a way, TSRTC is saying that it is not in a position to pay the September salary of employees unless the state government provides the money.
Sunil Sharma, the In-charge Managing Director of TSRTC, filed a counter affidavit in the High Court on Monday in a case filed by one of the unions seeking direction to the TSRTC to pay the September salary. TSRTC contended that the strike resorted to by the employees is illegal, especially since the state government issued a government order in May. The order prohibited strikes for six months in any service under TSRTC, under the provisions of Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1971 (ESMA).
The MD informed the Court that there is a considerable variation between revenue and expenditures. The annual spending is Rs 5,811 crore, and the revenue realisation is Rs 4,882 crore. He also pointed out that the accumulated losses to the corporation are about Rs 5,269 crore. The corporation usually realises an amount of Rs 10 crore per day, and during the festive season, it would be around Rs 13 crore per day. However, due to the employees’ strike during the festive season, the corporation incurred a loss of more than Rs 125 crore.
Due to all these factors, there is only Rs 7.49 crore available in the corporation’s account as of today. He contrasted this with the requirement of Rs 239 crores for the monthly wage bill. Through their counter-affidavits, the corporation has informed the Court, without explicitly saying it, that they are in no position, at present, to pay the September salaries.
When the case came up for hearing before Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili on Monday, the Additional Advocate General J Ramachandra Rao strongly opposed the Writ petition. He contended that it is not maintainable as there was a remedy for employees to invoke proceedings under a competent authority under the Payment of Wages Act. The counsels for petitioners contended that employees’ fundamental rights were being affected due to the uncompromising attitude of the corporation and the state government. The judge adjourned the case to October 30.