Hyderabad: The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is suffering a loss of ₹11-12 crore per day owing to the indefinite strike by its employees since 5 October. The strike is only compounding the financial stress of the transport agency, which is already a loss-making body.
The TSRTC loses about ₹2 crore a day, mainly due to operational costs, a senior official from the TSRTC, who did not want to be quoted, said. “Now that the buses are not running, we are not making loses in that sense, but we are losing revenue. Majority of our operation costs were of diesel (on which the TSRTC also has to pay VAT to the state government)," he added.
The TSRTC official said that the corporation could have made some additional money during Dushera (7-8 October), as there is heavy rush of passengers during the festival period. “We had asked the unions to defer their strike, but they did not listen and went ahead," he told Mint. On Thursday, the strike entered its sixth day, with more than 48,000 employees of the TSRTC staying off duty.
The demands put forth by the unions, which are functioning under a joint action committee (JAC), include increasing staff salaries, maternity leave for women employees, exemption of various taxes, women bus conductors not to work beyond 9 pm, and the merger of the TSRTC with the state government as it is an autonomous organization, whose employees are permanent.
A TSRTC union leader, who did not want to be quoted, however, argued that the state government should at least exempt value-added tax or VAT on diesel to the TSRTC, which he said stands at nearly 27%. “The corporation should not be seen as a profit or loss making body, rather as a bus service," he added.
TSRTC-JAC leaders and opposition parties will meet on Wednesday to formalise a date for bandh. The union leader said there is no chance of the indefinite strike ending soon, unless the state government comes forward for negotiations.