Anathalavattam calls for rationalisation of state PSU salaries

By CL Jose

Severe imbalance within state entities’ salary structure

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/April 27-2022: There exists stark imbalance within the remuneration structure of public sector entities in the state with selected entities or departments run by the same state government pay their employees multiple times that of their counterparts elsewhere under the same system.

In the case of the financially embattled KSRTC, the tens of thousands of its employees and the pensioners are on edge fearing whether they will receive their next salary or not.

Talking to in the context of the simmering issue of unpredictability in KSRTC employees’ salary, Anathalavattam Anandan, the undefiled trade union leader from CITU, decried the stance the Transport Minister Antony Raju has taken on the Corporation employees’ salary.

Anandan called on the government to thrash out a permanent solution to the plight of the KSRTC employees, who have already thrown their hands up, not knowing whether they will receive their next salary or not.

In fact, Antony Raju has literally raised the spectre of non-payment of their salary unless the KSRTC management finds a way to cough up enough revenue to pay the employees. Though the minister didn’t say so verbatim, his statement that the government cannot provide assistance to the KSRTC henceforth would undoubtedly points to that.

Anandan raised the poignant question whether the KSRTC employees were appointed on the condition that they will be remunerated only if the Corporation generates enough profit. “On the flip side, is making profit the prime mandate of the public utility services  in the state like KSRTC?” Anandan quipped.

And more importantly, given the fact that these employees, by definition, do not enjoy the power to fix the price of the services they offer to the public, how can they be held responsible for the poor financial performance of their corporation and thereon deny their legitimate salary?

The more pertinent question is whether KSRTC is the only government entity that fails to generate profit in the state; there are quite a few others too that perennially contribute losses to the government exchequer.

If profit or revenue deems as the basis for the entitlement of salary in an organisation under the government, how come the tens of thousands of employees serving in the Health and Education departments get paid every month without fail?

So why single out KSRTC employees? There are several Departments under the government that are not expected even to see cash flow, let alone generate revenue or profit.

Every member of the Government workforce that is in lakhs, has entered the system through well-defined channels and hence every employee has the right to be paid for his/her work.

And if the government is convinced that the funds are not sufficient to pay all, the most logical step forward for any government is not to say ‘No’ to certain employees and heap certain others with ‘fat cheque’.

It’s hight time the Government rationalised the system of paying its employees. There could be eventualities that government needs to face in its course, including financial emergencies.

The government on such occasions is not expected to pay arbitrarily or choose to pay the employees led by the mightier trade unions and leave the others in the lurch.


KSEBL, KSRTC, KWA included for study on PSU sector pay

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/April 27-2022: The public entities such as Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd (KSEBL), Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Kerala Water Authority (KWA) have been included in the list of PSUs for which an Expert Committee is conducting a comprehensive study to formulate pay/wage structure

It was about three years ago, the Government had constituted an Expert Committee to conduct a comprehensive study on the formulation of a common framework for pay/wage structure of PSUs in Kerala, but excluding KSEB, KSRTC and Kerala Water Authority.

The Expert Committee headed by the chairman, Public Sector Restructuring and Internal Audit (RIAB) submitted its recommendations to Government on November 30, 2020.

Government has examined the matter in detail and decided to constitute a Secretary Level Committee under the chairmanship of chief secretary to consider the inclusion of the PSUs KSEB, KSRTC and Kerala Water Authority (KWA) also in the common framework and to submit necessary recommendations by considering the subsequent changes that occurred after the submission of the Expert Committee Report.

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