The Kerala government should conduct a proper audit of the assets of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and construction works taken up by Kerala Transport Development Financial Corporation (KTDFC) on the former’s land, the High Court of Kerala has ordered.
The court granted the government a month’s time to decide on means to clear the KSRTC’s debts and on auditing. Reminding the KSRTC management, employees and government of the corporation’s bleak future, the court asked them to act accordingly.
Referring to KSRTC’s submission that the salaries could be distributed by August 10 if the government helps it, the court wondered how long could the corporation could be spoon-fed.
The high court was hearing writ petitions filed against the delay in the payment of salaries to KSRTC staff.
The court noted that the KSRTC has to repay more than Rs 30 crore each month to a consortium of banks. The Rs 30-50 crore from the government has been utilised to repay the loan, the court observed.
The KSRTC should tap revenue sources other than ticket sales to stay afloat. Despite having assets such as landed property, buildings, offices and shopping centres, the corporation has not been profitably utilising them.
The court further observed that unscientific construction works contributed to the majority of the KSRTC’s financial burden. The petitioners have pointed out that the buildings constructed by KTDFC do not have takers since they were of sub-standard quality.
The petitioners alleged that the government owed KSRTC a huge amount after free tickets were included in many of the government projects. The court asked the KSRTC to explain the dues.
The court directed the corporation to distribute the July salaries of ordinary employees by August 10. The court took on record the KSRTC’s submission that the salaries for the month of June would be distributed by August 10.