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PSUs a liability for the state government

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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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Azad on Jharkhand lynching: Keep new India with you, give us old India

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New Delhi, Jun 24: Coming down heavily on the government over recent incidents of lynching and crime in Jharkhand, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the state has become a factory of lynching and violence, “requesting” Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “give us our Old India where there was love, culture.”

“Dalits and Muslims are killed there every week. The PM, we are with you in the fight of ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’, but it should be there for people to see it. We can’t see it anywhere,” Azad said in Rajya Sabha.

“I request you to keep the New India to yourself and give us our Old India where there was love, culture. Hindus used to feel the pain when Muslims and Dalits used to get hurt. When something used to get into the eyes of Hindus, Muslims and Dalits used to shed tears for them,” he added.

 

“In Old India, there was no hatred, anger or lynching. New India is one where humans are enemies of each other. You won’t be scared of animals in a jungle, but you’ll be scared of humans in a colony. Give us India where Hindus, Muslims,Sikhs and Christians live for each other,” he said.

In yet another lynching incident, a Muslim man was beaten up mercilessly for over 18 hours on the suspicion of theft in Jharkhand’s Kharsawan district on Saturday. The 24-year-old victim, identified as Tabrez Ansari, was attacked by a mob on June 18 and was later handed over to the police. He had been in the judicial custody since June 18 and was taken to a hospital on June 22 after his condition deteriorated. On the same day, Ansari succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

Several videos of the incident emerged on social media show a man hitting Tabrez brutally with a wooden stick while forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. The videos of the Jharkhand mob lynching case have gone viral on social networking sites ever since the incident came to the light.

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GoI approves amendments to give more teeth to NIA

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New Delhi, Jun 24: The Union Cabinet is learnt to have approved a proposal to amend two laws to give more teeth to the NIA in probing ‘terror’ cases in India and abroad, sources said Monday.

Separate bills will be introduced in Parliament in the coming days to amend the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, they said.

The amendments will also allow the NIA probe cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking, sources aware of the proposal said.

 

Amendment to Schedule 4 of the UAPA will allow the NIA to designate an individual suspected to have ‘terror links as a terrorist’. As of now, only organisations are designated as ‘terrorist organisations’.

The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai attack that had claimed 166 lives.

Since 2017, the Union Home Ministry has been considering the two laws to give more power to the NIA to meet fresh challenges, the sources pointed out.

Another proposal to introduce a bill to extend the facility of proxy voting to overseas Indians could not be taken up Monday.

A similar bill had lapsed following the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month.

“The agenda of the Law Ministry stands postponed,” a functionary said.

As of now, overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies they are registered.

The Bill seeks to give them the option of proxy voting, which is as of now available to service personnel only.

Another proposal to amend the Representation of the People Act related to the spouses of service voters could not be taken up on Monday.

As of now, an armyman’s wife is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but a woman army officer’s husband is not, according to the provisions in the electoral law.

The bill proposes to replace the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’, thus making the provision gender-neutral. Members of the armed forces, central armed police forces, personnel of state police forces posted outside their state and employees of the Centre posted outside India are eligible to be enrolled as service voters.

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Youths click selfies, walk alongside Leopard in Kishtwar

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Srinagar, Jun 24: Pointing towards the increasing man-animal conflict is J&K, a video that went viral on Monday shows a few youth carelessly walking right alongside a leopard on a tarred road while clicking photos and videos in some mountainous region.

The incident reportedly took place in Chingam area of Kishtwar district. The video shows at least three youth audaciously ambling near the leopard that, surprisingly, isn’t aggressive.

The incident comes to the fore      days after days after two leopards were spotted in residential areas of Budgam and Srinagar.

 

Deputy conservator of forests, wild life division, Kashmir, Rouf Zargar had told The Kashmir Monitor that one female leopard and an adult cub were spotted at Ompora, Budgam.

“They were spotted in the adjacent villages of Budgam and Airport. We are doing our best to trace them. Till the time we catch those, people should refrain from moving out during nights and in the wee hours,” he said.

There has been a spike in man-animal conflict in the last few years with several incidents of attacks by bears and leopards taking place in multiple areas of the valley.

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