Transport Minister attempts to plug financial leaks in SLTBAugust 7, 2012, 9:02 pm
By Don Asoka Wijewardena
In a bid to improve Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) management, with effect from this month, all SLTB regional managers of the nine regions will be vested power to effectively manage 103 depots. The regional managers will be responsible for earning revenue to pay respective depot employees’ salaries, for spare parts and maintenance purposes.
The Treasury will deposit Rs. 10,110 into the People’s Bank account of each SLTB employee commencing this month. In the past, though the Treasury had sent Rs. 10,110, on behalf of each employee to the respective depot superintendents to pay salaries, many delays caused severe hardships to SLTB employees, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama told a media Conference at the SLTB head office in Narahenpita yesterday.
Minister Welgama pointed out that approximately 35,000 SLTB employees were disappointed over the constant delay in payment of their salaries. Therefore, Ministry took a decision to vest more power in the respective SLTB regional managers to manage all depots coming under them.
He said that the Treasury had been providing 50 per cent of the fund requirements of the SLTB depots, such as for purchasing of batteries, tyres, spare parts and accessories and the balance expenses the depots had to meet with their revenue. Besides that, the Treasury had been sending Rs. 10,110 on behalf of each employee to all depot superintendents for the payment of salaries each month.
"What has happened is that though the depot superintendents are responsible for earning the balance to pay employees, on the pay day they refuse to pay the employees. I have instructed to cancel the overdraft system maintained at depots. From now onwards all depot superintendents have to earn revenue to pay the employees’ balance salary as the Treasury will only pay Rs. 10,110 per employee," Minister Welgama emphasised.
When asked whether the SLTB incurred a loss as a result of sub-standard diesel usage, Minister Welgama said that diesel filters in 250 buses had to be replaced and the SLTB incurred a Rs. 6 million loss as a result. The SLTB would not demand payment of compensation because the Ministry owed nearly Rs. 4,000 million to the Ceylon Petrolium Corporation.
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