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J&K SRTC witnesses reverse growth; losses mount to Rs 1,639 crore: CAG

Srinagar:  Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) has witnessed a reverse growth in the last five years

According to the report, which was released recently, the capital infused by the government was not efficiently utilized as the corporation reported a 33 percent increase in accumulated losses between 2014 and 2019.

“Despite 20 percent increase in Paid-up Share Capital from Rs 204.74 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 245.57 crore in 2018-19, there was a 33 percent increase in accumulated losses. The losses by the corporation in 2014-15 were Rs1, 229.56 crores which increased to Rs 1,639.01 crore,” it said.

The audit report said the corporation has failed in achieving targets of revenue collection, which increased from 31 percent in 2014-15 to 37 percent in 2017-18.

 “The overall shortfall in achievement of the target of revenue during the period from 2014-15 to 2017-18 was Rs165.22 crore. In 2014-15, the corporation recorded a shortfall of Rs 47.99 (37%) as only Rs 83.44 crores were generated against a target of Rs131.43 crores. In 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, the corporation recorded a revenue loss of Rs 36.05 crores (31%), Rs 43.58crores (35%) and Rs 37.60 crores (32 %), respectively.

The targets as per the report were also not achieved in terms of the fleet of buses to be used by the corporation for generating revenue. Against a target of 664 buses, only 469 were operated by the corporation in 2014-15 followed by 443 buses out of 614 in 2015-16.

The report claims that 436 buses operated in 2016-17 against a target of 655 available fleet of buses.  In 2017-18, the corporation operated a fleet of 442 buses against the target of 642.

The Corporation failed to earn its operational revenue, as operation loss ranged between Rs15.03 per Km to Rs34.68 per Km during the period from 2014 to 2019.

Operating revenue of the Corporation which included traffic earnings, passes and season tickets, reimbursement against concessional passes, fare realized from private operators under Kilo Metre (KM) Scheme had decreased from Rs 83.09 crore in 2014-15 to Rs79.71 crore in 2018-19 (four percent) with the lowest being Rs78.54 crore in 2015-16,” the audit report said.

“However, the operating expenditure, which included fixed cost (personnel, depreciation, interest), variable cost (fuel/ lubricants, tyres/ tubes, spares) and overhead cost, during the same period, had increased by 24 percent from Rs119.48 crore in 2014-15 to Rs147.71 crore in 2018-19,” it added.

The CAG report reveals that the internal control mechanism of the Corporation was inadequate as board meetings, monthly meetings, administrative inspections and vigilance checks were not conducted ‘regularly’.

“Only ten Meetings of the Board were held during the period 2014 to 2019 although 20 were required to be held as per the JKSRTC Act. No survey was conducted by the Corporation to ascertain the satisfaction level of commuters with respect to services provided by the Corporation,” it said.

The Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (the Corporation) a transport undertaking wholly owned by the Government, with the aim to cater to the transport needs, both of passengers and goods for the public in the State was set up in September 1976.