No Money For Old Men In ‘God’s Own Country’ Pinarayi Vijayan 

Kerala is reeling under a financial crisis with seemingly no way out. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has not paid pension to approximately 38,500 of its employees for many months now. Two of them were discovered to have committed suicide yesterday.

But the bad news is not just limited to the KSRTC. The state’s electricity board too, has informed its personnel that a pension crisis is imminent. The chairman and the managing director of the board informed them last month that the ‘board was finding it difficult to contribute its share to the employees’ master pension and gratuity trust’.

In the past, the board had been paying pensions using its day to day revenues. However, this practice was prohibited by the electricity regulatory commission.

Kerala, along with West Bengal and Tripura, is among the three states which has seen communist governments. Currently, a communist regime, under Pinarayi Vijayan is in power in the state. It is thus hardly a coincidence that all three states are reeling under financial duress, or its legacy. The real cost of it however, is being paid by the thousands of employees whose pensions and wages have been held back.

The Kerala government, on its part, has denied that there is a crisis at all. The state power minister, M M Mani, has said that there is no pension problem for the electricity board. The KSRTC, on the other hand, would now get its pension dues from a consortium of cooperative banks, as per the state government. Later, the government would pay the banks from the share of KSRTC in financial aid.

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