Sharad Pawar Lends A Helping Hand to KSRTC; Promises Rs 1600 cr Loan   

Thiruvananthapuram: As the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) laments about rising debts and loss, it has found a saviour in NCP National President Sharad Pawar, who has promised to generate Rs 1,600 crore from the banks in Maharashtra at low interest.

State Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, who belongs to the NCP, had explained to Pawar the technical difficulties in getting loans from the banks in Kerala.

He had held discussions with the NCP leader after getting approval from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Finance Minister Thomas Chandy.

Primary discussions with the banks in Maharashtra have been completed and the officials from Kerala will go to Mumbai this week to discuss other formal procedures.

Currently, the KSRTC has a debt of Rs 4,000 crore. In this, the short term loans taken from various financial institutions come around Rs 1600 crore. The KSRTC repays Rs 2.61 crore per day as interest. The daily income comes around Rs five crore on an average.

Though the government held discussions with the consortium of Kerala banks for long-term loans, they demanded an interest rate between 11% and 13%. So the government withdrew from it. Following this, Minister Chandy approached Pawar. The government expects that they will get the loan at an interest rate of below 10%. They also seek a loan of at least 10 years tenure.

At present, the KSRTC has Rs 270 crore expenditure and Rs 170 crore income per month.

Salary Today, Says Minister

Minister Chandy informed that the salary for the KSRTC employees will be distributed today. He said that the amount for salary has been made available from banks.

Meanwhile, the Minister has ordered to annul the axing of 240 temporary employees from the KSRTC body construction units. Pointing out that it’s not the policy of LDF government to sack employees, the Minister expressed his displeasure, and added that the decision for sacking employees was taken without consulting him.