Governor, Govt persist with RTC Bill duel in TS

Update: 2023-08-05 19:33 GMT

HYDERABAD: The tussle between Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and the state government over the proposed Bill to merge the TSRTC with the state government deepened further on Saturday as the Governor sought a few more clarifications before she permitted its tabling.

Earlier, the state government gave point-by-point clarifications to five queries that the Governor raised, plunging into uncertainty the presentation of the Bill in the Assembly on Sunday, the last day of the ongoing Monsoon Session.

The fresh clarifications the Governor sought comprised queries on whether the state government had obtained the concurrence of the Centre, which holds a 30 per cent stake in the RTC, for the merger. Dr Soundararajan sought a copy of the concurrence and, if it was not taken, asked for the steps taken by the government to ensure legal compliance.

She sought clarification on the number of permanent and temporary employees and the mechanism being adopted for ensuring the job security of non-permanent employees.

Dr Soundararajan sought clarification if the movable and immovable properties of the corporation will continue to remain with the corporation or would the state government take them over.

Clarification was also sought if the authority would be responsible for operating the fleet of buses. “If the employees are absorbed as government servants, it needs to be clarified who will be responsible for controlling their functioning and assigning duties for running the fleet. Additionally, the role of the corporation in this regard is to be specified, with a focus on the interests of the employees and daily commuters,” the Governor stated in a query.

She asked for clarity over the employees, who, once absorbed into government service, will continue to work in the corporation on deputation or in other similar arrangements.

Earlier, Chief Secretary A. Santhi Kumari had written to the Governor on Saturday giving clarifications on the five doubts raised on Friday.

The CS clarified that the proposed Bill only provided for the absorption of TSRTC employees into government service and the corporation continued to function in its existing legal entity and form in all other respects.

The CS said that the equity contributions of the state and Centre to the APSRTC in the united Andhra Pradesh were ₹140.20 crores and ₹61.07 crores, respectively. The Corporation Board would continue as the apex body of the TSRTC, under the provisions of the RTC Act, 1950, to manage issues pertaining to equity, loan, grant or other assistance of the Centre and related matters. Hence, it is not necessary to mention any of these details in the Bill, she said.

“The nature of the Corporation would not be changed till bifurcation issues are settled. The issues pertaining to bifurcation are under examination by the Government of India, after submission of views by both the state governments,” the CS said.

“The applicability of the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act after absorption of the TSRTC employees into government service, would be as per the provisions of the said Act. No provision in this regard is required in the proposed Bill. The interests of the existing employees are best served by absorption into the state government, which in fact is one of the main objects of the proposed Bill,” the CS stated.

There is no ambiguity in the proposed Bill with regard to the applicability of pension provisions or other provisions applicable to government employees to TSRTC employees, post their absorption into government service, Santhi Kumari said.

“No employee would be put to any hardship in terms of salaries and allowances. There is no bar to continue the various categories and cadres presently in TSRTC, post their absorption in government service also, by framing suitable service rules in that regard,” she said.

“In fact, the limited object of the subject matter Bill is to provide an exception to the provisions of the Telangana Prohibition of Employees of State Government Public Sector Undertakings into Public Service Act, 1997, State Act 14 of 1997, which prohibits absorption of employees working in PSUs into public service and matter related thereto,” the CS stated.


TS gives 5 answers, Gov. asks for more

Governor’s Sat. queries:

•  Has the government taken concurrence of the Centre, which is a RTC stakeholder; provide a copy of the concurrence

•  Number of permanent, temporary staff; job security of non-permanent staff

•  Who will operate the buses


Govt’s Friday replies:

•  Bill absorbs RTC staff, corporation will continue to operate buses

•  Corporation Board would continue unchanged, no need to provide data on shareholding

•  No ambiguity over staff salary, allowances, pension


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