COVID-19 Standstill

BRTC faces loss, seeks Tk 20 crore to pay staff

Shahin Akhter | Published: 00:43, Apr 26,2020


Staff of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation, especially drivers, their assistants, conductors and  mechanics, are passing days in uncertainty over getting salaries and other allowances in time during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Many workers are struggling to meet demands in their daily life as the operation of passenger bus services under the corporation remained suspended since March 26 as the government banned public transport to contain the infection of COVID-19.

The corporation already has sought Tk 20 crore incentives from the government to give salary, pensions and other allowances to its staff for April and May months.

The proposal is currently submitted at the finance ministry, said officials.

At present there are around 3,300 employees of the corporation, 80 per cent of which are drivers, their assistants, conductors and mechanics, said officials.

These staff members are working under the corporation’s 21 bus depots, two truck depots and three training institutions across the country.

Almost all offices have paid staff salary for the month of March, but staff of at least one bus depot in northern area of the country are yet to get salary till Saturday, officials of the depot confirmed New Age.

Half of the staff of another depot of the south-western region got salary just on Thursday, while the other half received it earlier.

A driver working in the corporation’s one of bus depots in the capital said, ‘I do not know when I’ll get salary and Boishakhi allowance for April.’

A senior corporation officer, stationed at its headquarters, said that they incurred in losses of Tk 2.5 crore in March after its services closed down on March 25.

In April they would incur in around Tk 12 crore and it would continue for each new month, he said.

The corporation chairman Md Ehsan -E-Elahi told New Age on Saturday that each month they had to spend Tk 7 crore for salary purpose.

They had sought the incentives to give salary, pensions and Boishakhi allowances to staff for April and May, he said.

Replying a question he said that they were yet to know that when decision on the proposal would be taken as the office of finance ministry would open after May 5.

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