Appeal to Karnataka government saying they cannot pay tax and EMIs in the absence of income
Travel operators who had contracts with firms in the IT sector and other corporate houses in Bengaluru to ferry employees have approached the Karnataka government to direct companies to encourage staff to work from office.
In a letter addressed to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan, who is also Minister for IT&BT, the Karnataka State Travel Operators’ Association said that work from home option has badly affected their finances. They pointed out that contract workers, such as housekeeping staff, security personnel, caterers and those in the hospitality industry, have also taken a hit with most employees continuing to work from home.
Krishnamurthy, who has been running an employee transport service for 25 years in Bengaluru, said that operators like him have invested crores in vehicles to meet the growing demand from the corporate sector. “Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 1.5 lakh vehicles provided transport services to employees in Bengaluru. Today, most of them are without work and income. But even without any revenue, owners are forced to pay tax, insurance premium and EMIs,” he said.
Many operators claim they are no longer in a position to repay loans. “Our drivers and other employees have gone back to their hometowns. They want to come back but we are not in a position to offer them work. Even if 50% of the workforce return to office, it will help many sectors like ours,” Mr. Krishnamurthy said.
Radhakrishna Holla, president of the association, said the situation is dire. “Thousands of people have lost their jobs. We want the Karnataka government to come to our aid by directing companies to shift from work-from-home to work-from-office. In the previous guidelines brought out by the Karnataka government, there is no mention of continuation of work from home option. Our survival is at stake,” he said.
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