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PSUs a liability for the state government

January 20, 2018

Srinagar, Jan 19: Having been set up to generate revenue and create job opportunities in the state, most of the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) are running in losses and proving a burden on the exchequer.
There are 19 public sector undertakings in the state under the administrative control of various departments.
According to official figures available with The Kashmir Monitor, most of the PSU (corporations) are running in heavy losses. Several are even failing to pay salaries to their employees.
The figures reveal that seven PSUs are being provided budgetary support by the state government to meet their wage bills as they failed to pay salaries to employees.
The J&K State Handloom Development Corporation was established in 1981 to assist handloom weavers’ societies and SSI units in the handloom sector.
However, it has been continuously running in losses.
During 2013-2014, the corporation witnessed a loss of around Rs 9 crore, which increased to Rs 14 crore in 2016-2017.
In the current fiscal, it has faced around Rs 3.6 loss crore in the first seven months.
The State Road Transport Corporation is also running in losses, becoming a liability on the state government.
It has suffered a loss of over Rs 150 crore over the years, and its most assets have been lying defunct for the last five years.
Official figures reveal that SRTC has earned Rs 98.29 crore during 2016-17 and Rs 41.82 in the current fiscal so far.
“The revenue part is continuously declining and even not able to pay salaries to employees,” an official said.
The corporation had around 2,000 vehicles including buses and trucks in 1900s whose number has reduced to around 1,500.
Jammu and Kashmir State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (SIDCO) used to provide term loan assistance to industrial units under refinance scheme of IDBI, SIDBI.
“However, most of the units went into default. An amount of Rs.12.90 crore on account of principal is recoverable from 23 units, besides interest of Rs. 377.05 crore,” the official documents reveal.
Jammu and Kashmir Minerals Limited was incorporated in 1960 as the first public sector undertaking in the state.
Since then, the corporation, according to official records, has been incurring losses.
The JK Cements Limited (JKCL) has also suffered heavy losses over the years.
The JKCL was set up three-decades-ago of producing quality cements at the reasonable prices and generating revenue for the state.
However, its production has gone down over the years and its employees are often protesting against non-releasing of salaries.
The JK Forest Corporation, JK Industries Limited, JKWDC, J&K Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation Limited, J&K Minerals are also running in losses worth crores of rupees.
Sources said several PSUs have failed to pay salaries to their employees, who would often come to the streets seeking payment of their remunerations.
“They have suffered heavy losses due to mismanagement by the authorities,” an official of the Industries and Commerce Department said.
He said the state government has signed an MoU with the Centre government to gradually phase out the budgetary support.
Presently, seven PSUs are managed and controlled by Industries and Commerce Department.
Its minister, Chandra Prakash said the government was making efforts for revival of the PSUs.
“Several measures have been taking in the last few years. They need government support but they have also performed well in the last few years,” he added.

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