RTC unions told to drop strike call

Cabinet appoints panels on RTC, health, finance, agri and welfare.

Hyderabad: The Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao decided to constitute an IAS officers committee to hold negotiations with various Telangana state RTC workers’ unions, in view of their strike call scheduled from October 5, besides reviewing their main demand of merging the RTC with the state government.

The Cabinet has decided to set up a committee of three IAS officers, to be headed by special chief secretary Somesh Kumar, and comprising finance secretary K. Ramakrishna Rao, and Sunil Sharma. The committee will hold discussions with RTC unions on Wednesday.

The Cabinet had a detail-ed discussion during an over seven-hour marathon meet, which started at 4 pm and ended after 11.20 pm, in which it was resolved that the government would take all steps to save the RTC, which was providing transport facilities to the poor people in the state. The Cabinet appealed to workers unions to withdraw their call for strike, because the government was prepared to resolve their issues through talks. It appealed to employee unions not to cause further losses to the corporation by going on a strike.

The Cabinet also decided to form several committees to look into various issues and problems facing the people of the state.

In view of the major hea-lth crisis prevailing in the state and Hyderabad, predominantly vector-borne diseases, causing dengue and other viral fevers, a committee on health and medical care will be set up, to be headed by health minister Etala Rajender to come up with solutions.

To address the issue of sanitation, two committees would be set up to address the issues separately facing the urban and rural areas.

While the urban sanitation committee would be headed by municipal administration and urban development minister K.T. Rama Rao, the rural sanitation committee would be headed by panchayati raj minister, Errabelli Dayakar Rao.

In view of the prevailing economic slowdown in the country, the Cabinet also decided to constitute a committee to muster and raise economic resources for the state, to be headed by finance minister T. Harish Rao.

The other committees to be constituted include a greenery committee, headed by forest minister A. Indrakaran Reddy, an agriculture committee headed by agriculture minister S. Niranjan Reddy and a poultry committee headed by animal husbandry minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav.

The Cabinet also decided to constitute a committee to monitor and study the welfare of people through a welfare committee, to be headed by social welfare minister Koppula Eshwar.

The Cabinet had a detailed discussion on the current situation of the agriculture sector in the state. It decided to explore ways and means to give minimum support price to farmers for crops and procure their produce through the state government agencies at a good MSP.

The Cabinet has also decided to hold a meeting on October 10, to be again chaired by the Chief Minister, along with ministers and collectors to discuss and review the progress of the 30-day action plan. It was also decided to invite district panchayat officers and divisional panchayat officers to this review meeting to discuss about the steps taken so far to improve sanitation in villages and action ahead.

Meanwhile, sources in the government disclosed that the Cabinet also discussed the High Court orders staying the construction of the proposed new Secret-ariat and Assembly buildings and decided to take appropriate legal recourse.

Sources further disclosed that the Cabinet discussed on the enhancement of retirement age of state government employees from 58 to 61 years. This was an election promise of the ruling TRS.

It is said to have been decided to constitute a committee with ministers to study the systems adopted by other state government for increasing retirement age of employees.

They revealed that though the Cabinet discussed the constitution of the Pay Revision Commission and giving interim relief to employees, the decision was postponed for the next Cabinet meeting in view of Huzurnagar byelections.

The Chief Minister said to have been shared with the Cabinet about his discussion with AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in the recent meeting of both pertaining to sharing of Godavari waters and also on pending issues of the bifurcation.

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