Protect State Road Transport Corporations: AIRTWF
IT is reported in the press that the government of India has taken a decision to give 40 percent subsidy for individuals who wish to purchase a bus. The All India Road Transport Workers Federation, in a statement issued on June 1, has strongly condemned this decision of the union government and has demanded that the state road transport corporations be extended 40 percent subsidy. They are providing transport facilities to the remote areas, that too at an affordable fare, as a result of which, particularly, the downtrodden sections of the society are benefited. They are also providing employment to the unemployed youth in a large number. The government's policy of reservation is implemented and the needy sections are benefited. But the move of the union government is aimed at dismantling the state road transport corporations and the unemployed youth will lose the job opportunities prevailing in this sector. AIRTWF demands the government to forthwith withdraw the decision. The state road transport corporations are facing severe financial crisis and are not able to replace even its old age buses. The government is not releasing its share of the the capital contribution as envisaged in the RTC Act 1950. A committee to the 11th Five Year Plan on Transport has suggested the union government to fund the STCs to purchase 30,000 buses both for augmentation and replacement. But the government has paid a deaf year to it. Now the government has come forward to give 40 percent subsidy to individuals. This is nothing but transferring the public money to some influential people. It is the earlier experience that the efforts made by the government to bring the individual private bus operators under one umbrella have failed miserably. After that only, the then rulers had decided to bring the passenger transport under the control of the state governments and enacted the RTC Act 1950 for the formation of state road transport corporations in the country. Ignoring all these facts and the historical background, the union government has now come up with the proposal to fund the individuals. In the light of the above, the All India Road Transport Workers Federation demands the union government to desist from its decision to encourage individual private bus operators and to extend the facility of 40 percent subsidy to the state transport corporations.