MUMBAI: State transport minister Anil Parab on Wednesday offered the highest-ever salary hike to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) employees in a bid to end their near-month-long strike.
Parab announced an average hike of Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000 in basic salary in a fresh appeal to the striking staff to call off the agitation. He made the offer after a marathon meeting with the delegation of MSRTC employees.
He said the hike – to be given with effect from November -- will be given as per number of years put in employment by the employee; it will put an additional monthly burden of Rs 60 crore and an annual burden of Rs 750 crore on the state government.
BJP Members of Legislative Council Sadabhau Khot and Gopichand Padalkar, who led the agitation and took part in the talks with Parab, said they would announce their stand on Thursday after discussions with the employees.
The MSRTC is reeling under heavy financial losses, and the state government has provided it with Rs 2,700 crore for the payment of salaries. “Due to late receipt of the salary, some MSRTC employees committed suicide. Therefore, it has been decided that the MSRTC will pay the salary before the 10th of every month,” he added.
He, however, made it clear that only employees who report for work will get their salary.
The minister said the MSRTC would give incentives to the employees who have contributed towards an increase in the revenue. Besides, the government will sympathetically consider providing financial aid to the families of the employees who have committed suicide.
Parab reiterated that the employees should call off the strike immediately and asked those who have gone to their villages to report to work in a day or two. “MSRTC will revoke the suspension and termination of services after they report to work. But the government will take strict action against workers who do not show up,” he warned.
On the employees’ demand for MSRTC’s merger with the state government, Parab said the government is waiting for a three-member committee’s report.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who met the deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and Parab two days back to discuss MSRTC’s demands, has asked the state government to study the functioning of undertakings in other states.
He said he would not comment on the demand for MSRTC’s merger with the state government as the matter is sub judice but warned that if this happens then other parties will make similar demands which will put an additional financial burden on the state government.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)