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.
Time for talks over, world must act now: PM
New Delhi, Feb 18: The Pulwama attack which claimed the lives of 49 CRPF men shows that the time to hold talks on “terrorism” is over and there is an urgent need to unite against such elements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
The Prime Minister, who was holding talks with Argentina President Mauricio Macri, said dithering to take action against militants and their supporters will be like encouraging militancy.
“Brutal attack in Pulwama proves that time for talks have passed. Now the entire world needs to unite against ‘terrorism’ and its supporters and take strong actions,” PM said.
President of Argentina Mauricio Macri said, “I would like to convey my condolences to the victims of the cruel attack (Pulwama) perpetrated just a few days ago. We condemn every kind of terrorist attack. I am truly pleased to be able to working together to fight this scourge on mankind.”
Cross LoC trade, bus service suspended
Srinagar, Feb 18: The cross-LoC trade between India and Pakistan via Poonch has been suspended in backdrop of the Pulwama suicide attack in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed last Thursday.
“Since the incident, no truck was allowed to cross the Line of control hence affecting the trade,” an official said.
He added that Poonch-Rawalakot cross-LoC bus service too has been suspended till further orders.
President, Cross LoC trade Union, Pawan Anand told The Kashmir Monitor that 60 trucks are stranded at trade centre (Chakan Da Bagh).
“We got orders to suspend the trade,” he said.
Pawan said that at least they have endured more than 4 crore of losses due to the trade suspension.
He added that most of the trucks are loaded with grapes, tomato, banana, tamarind and ser (zeera).
Besides Poonch, the cross-LoC trade also takes place through Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road in Uri.
However, DC Baramulla, Nasir Ahmad Naqash, confirmed that Uri has not received any order for trade suspension yet.
MBS conferred Nishan-e-Pakistan: Saudi vows to ‘de-escalate’ India-Pakistan tension
Islamabad, Feb 18: Saudi Arabia vowed to “de-escalate” rising tensions between Pakistan and India during a high-profile summit in Islamabad Monday as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares to travel from Islamabad to New Delhi.
The kingdom’s foreign minister spoke at a press conference in Islamabad as Pakistan recalled its envoy from Delhi for “consultations”, the latest development in a fresh diplomatic crisis between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Delhi has vowed to retaliate after a suicide blast which killed over 40 Indian paramilitaries in Kashmir on Thursday, the deadliest attack in Kashmir in recent decade.
The attack has sparked widespread calls in India for action against Pakistan.
“Our objective is to try to de-escalate tensions between the two countries, neighboring countries, and to see if there is a path forward to resolving those differences peacefully,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
The pledge came as the crown prince, widely known as “MBS”, prepared to head for India later Monday, at the conclusion of his two-day visit to Pakistan.
India is garnering diplomatic support after the attack and has vowed to “isolate” Pakistan diplomatically in the international community, saying it has “incontrovertible evidence” of Islamabad’s role.
Pakistan has rejected the allegations.
Meanwhile, Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Monday conferred the country’s highest civil award — Nishan-e-Pakistan — on Saudi Crown Prince.
Mohammad bin Salman was honoured due to his “outstanding support for reinvigorating Pak-Saudi bilateral relationship”, Dawn reported.
Following the Pakistan president’s speech, the Saudi crown prince, as per Dawn, addressed the audience. “I was honoured to meet the president of Pakistan. I thank you for honouring me with Pakistan’s highest award.
“The brotherly relationship between the kingdom and Pakistan focus on the principle of Islamic solidarity. It is a model to be emulated by other nations. Our [countries’ relationship] go back 67 years that witnessed continuous development that rendered itself beneficial for both countries.
“The founding fathers for both countries established these relations on the principles of truthfulness, common understanding and mutual respect that go back to the first days of the establishment of Pakistan, post-World War 2.
“Our Pakistani brothers participated truthfully and effectively in the great development project that Saudi Arabia witnessed, especially the enlargement project of Masjid-e-Haram and Masjid-e-Nabwi. More than 2 million Pakistanis are working in Saudi Arabia and are contributing to the development of both the countries.
“I wish all the best to the president and the prime minister in the service of this country and its people.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Saudi crown prince said his goodbyes to the Pakistan president and members of the federal cabinet before leaving for Nur Khan Airbase. As was the case when he had arrived, Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan personally drove the car carrying the Saudi crown prince.
On Sunday, MBS signed $20 billion in investment deals with cash-strapped Islamabad and vowed to free thousands of Pakistani prisoners in Saudi custody.
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