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Govt extends ₹252.20-cr lifeline to KSRTC

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 23, 2014 Published on August 21, 2014

All pension arrears to be cleared before Onam

Stopping short of announcing a ‘comprehensive package’ for the ailing Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, the State Cabinet has extended a lifeline of ₹252.20 crore to the public utility.

Of this, ₹52.2 crore will come from the Budget share and ₹200 crore will be granted as part of capital expenditure, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here.

Wider consultations

The State Government would also stand guarantee to the extent of ₹300 crore in terms of borrowings should the Corporation feel the need to tap the market for the same.

The Chief Minister told newspersons after a meeting of the Cabinet here that the proposal for a special package for the Corporation needed more elaborate and wider discussions with various stakeholders.

The perennially bleeding public utility incurs a loss of more than ₹100 crore every month while operating a fleet of more than 5,000 buses.

In another decision, the Cabinet decided to clear ahead of the Onam festival pending arrears with respect to all welfare pension schemes. This would entail and outgo of ₹700 crore, the Chief Minister said.

Instructions have been issued to officials to ensure that the pension amounts reach the beneficiaries on time.

Market intervention

The Kerala Civil Supplies Corporation would be granted an amount of ₹50 crore to finance its ‘routine market invention’ schemes during the festival season.

The Chief Minister said that the payout has been maintained at the last year’s less. “Nothing more, nothing less,” he said to a specific question.

Separately, he announced that a seven-member team from the Centre would arrive here on Friday to examine on the spot Kerala’s concerns with regard to the Costal Regulation Zone Management Act.

CRZ Act

The State has already made known these concerns over specific provisions which could pose a potential threat to people living in the coastal area, especially the livelihood of the fishermen community.

“The provisions are so restrictive in their intent that it would be impossible for fishermen to carry out routine maintenance work on their places of abode,” Chandy said.

In this context, the State Chief Secretary is preparing a report enunciating the State’s position with respect to these provisions, which would be presented to the visiting Central team.

It will mainly deal with the State’s suggestions for changes to be incorporated into the Act, the Chief Minister added.

Published on August 21, 2014
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