Thursday, March 18, 2010

The road to uncertainty

Pressure is on the govt not to close the transport corporation

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government that had decided to shut down the Madhya Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (MPRTC) in 2005 has been unable to do so because of the Central government’s negative response. The government doesn’t know how to handle the explosive situation after the Central government and the surface transport ministry expressed their unwillingness to provide no objection certificate (NOC) to it.

Besides, the Industrial Dispute Act 1947 doesn’t allow any government to wind up Transport Corporation. Since 2005 the central transport ministry has rejected the state government’s proposal to close the MPRTC thrice. After rejecting the proposal for the second time, the transport ministry had declared: “In many countries the transport is operated in public interest.” But this didn’t stop the state government from changing its mind. It approached the central ministries of road transport and highways and labour and employment for the third time on November 12, 2009, seeking its mandatory approval for closure of the MPRTC. But the Central government didn’t accept it. Rather it asked the government to send another proposal on how to restructure the transport corporation.

It was then that the Madhya Pradesh government sought Rs 2590 crore from the Centre. At the same time on January 12, 2010, it posted the proposal to the ministries. Chief minister Chouhan even wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to intervene and resolve the matter. However, both of these were rejected, leaving the government with no other option but to mull on closing the MPRTC for good. The process of closure, Chouhan said, has reached an irreversible stage with 93 per cent of the 10,719 employees having opted for VRS. “Moreover, all the 681 nationalised bus routes operated by the corporation have also been denationalised,” he pointed out. But there is still some hope.
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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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