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No fresh recruitment to revive sick MTC : Minister

Written by: Staff
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Shillong, Mar 22 (UNI) The Meghalaya government has stopped fresh recruitments to revive the ''sick'' Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC), state Transport Minister Deborah C Marak said today.

''The MTC is a sick unit and has been running at a loss right from its inception in October, 1976,'' Ms Marak said, adding the situation had worsened, hitting ''a rock bottom'' and threatening the very survival of the Corporation.

Replying to a cut motion moved by Opposition member Manas Chaudhuri (Ind), she yesterday said the exit of 206 employees through the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) has helped the MTC save around Rs 17.50 lakh per month on account of salary bills alone. The blanket ban on recruitment also helped it contain its earlier hefty salary bills, which was more than Rs 65 lakh per month.

With a view to streamlining its working and improving the efficiency of its functioning, the corporation had taken up the process of computerisation. Besides, short duration training would be imparted to officers and staff in order to improve the knowledge base and proficiency, the Minister said.

The MTC was also planning an expansion of its fleet.

Ten new buses were recently purchased and 15 more would be purchased soon, she said, adding more new buses would be procured during the coming years.

An ambitious scheme has been chalked out to allow private operators to ply their buses under the MTC banner on certain inter-state routes. Two private bus owners have so far been granted permission in this regard, Ms Marak said and expressed hope that the finances of the Corporation would improve with more private participation.

The Corporation has not yet been able to pay the arrears revised amounting to Rs 1.50 crore to the staff, including retired employees, the minister said and added that the payment would be cleared in phases and installments depending on the availability of funds.

Ms Marak assured that the government would continue to provide necessary financial assistance to the Corporation to make it profitable within the next couple of years.

UNI PRS SP YA BST1423

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