Patiala, May 16
Following a delay in salary and pension of April, Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) employees and pensioners have announced to hold protest against the state government. The employees will be holding protest rallies outside the PRTC bus stands and depots across the state tomorrow.
We are bearing the brunt of the government’s populist scheme. It looks as if around 9,000 employees of the PRTC, including pensioners, are paying from their pocket for the free travel scheme because we haven’t received the salary so far. — Nirmal Singh Dhaliwal, Convener, PRTC Worker Unions
The protesting employees said they had not received their salary of April so far.
Nirmal Singh Dhaliwal, convener, PRTC Worker Unions, said free bus travel scheme of the government was taking a toll on the financial health of the PRTC. The government is yet to reimburse over Rs 200 crore to the state transport undertaking – PRTC.
He said: “We are bearing the brunt of the government’s populist scheme. It looks as if around 9,000 employees of the PRTC, including pensioners, are paying from their pocket for the free travel scheme because we haven’t received the salary so far.”
Taking a dig at the newly formed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, Dhaliwal said the PRTC had not received any reimbursement ever since the AAP formed government in the state.
“This lackadaisical attitude of the new government towards clearing pending amount is impacting the functioning of the PRTC,” Dhaliwal said.
Meanwhile, PRTC officials said the dues had been pending since December last year. As a result, the PRTC is finding it difficult to meet its daily expenses.
Notably, the previous Congress government, led by the then Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, had launched the free travel scheme for women in April last year. Women comprise of 40 per cent of the PRTC’s passengers.
Poonamdeep Kaur, Managing Director, PRTC, claimed that though the government had already cleared around Rs 33 crore of the pending dues, the amount was yet to be received.
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