The state government plans to crack the whip and invoke provisions of the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA), 2011, against the striking employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC). This was discussed at the meeting chaired on Friday by transport minister Anil Parab with the MSRTC management.
According to the MESMA, any police officer can arrest any person without any warrant without reasonable suspicion of offence. All offences under this Act are non-bailable and can be imprisoned for a term that extends to one year or with a fine that extends up to Rs 2,000 or both.
“We are serious about taking action under MESMA,” warned Parab. He said that the government will take action soon after holding a discussion with the Chief Minister.
The government is contemplating the move as despite the suspension of more than 9,500 employees and termination of over 2,000 employees, despite a record 41 per cent pay hike, the strike still continues. The minister has announced the average Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000 hike in basic salaries, saying that the revision will be given as per the years of service criterion and will put an additional monthly burden of Rs 60 crore and annual burden Rs 750 crore on the state government.
“The employees should not fall prey to rumours.With regard to MSRTC’s merger with the state government, a decision will be taken after the high court ruling. Rumours are in circulation that the pay hike is temporary, which is not the case. Rumours are also floating that the CM will have to resign if the strike continues for 60 days. It is totally incorrect,” said Parab.
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