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PSUs turn into liability for Govt: Revenue generation remains a distant dream

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, Oct 26: 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, which have become a huge burden on the state exchequer.

There are 19 public sector undertakings in the state under the administrative control of various departments.

According to official sources, most of the PSU (corporations) are running in heavy losses. Several are even failing to pay salaries to their employees.

 

Sources 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 State Road Transport Corporation is also running into losses, which has become a liability on the state government. It has suffered over Rs 150 crore losses over the years and its most assets are lying defunct for the last five years.

Official figures reveal that SRTC has earned revenue of Rs. 98.29 crore during the year 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 2000 vehicles including buses and trucks in 1900s whose number has reduced to around 1500.

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 into losses.

During 2013-2014, the Corporation witnessed around Rs 9 crore losses while the loss level increased to Rs 14 crore during 2016-2017.

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 sources reveal.

Jammu and Kashmir Minerals Limited was incorporated in 1960 as the first public sector undertaking of the state. Since than, the corporation according to official figures had been incurring losses.

JK Cements Limited 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, it production has gone down over the years and its employees are often protesting against non-releasing of salaries.

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 releasing of their remunerations.

“They have suffered heavy losses due to mismanagement by authorities,” an official of the Industries and Commerce Department, said.

He said that state government has signed an MOU with the Centre government to gradually phase out the budgetary support.


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Kashmir

FB’s #10 yr challenge: Netizens mock languishing govt projects in Kashmir

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Jan 20: The #10year challenge–the latest rage on Facebook is triggering an unintended consequence in Kashmir.

It has thrown light on the abysmal pace of execution of key developmental projects.
In Kashmir, the government works are conceived and launched with much fanfare, but years, and in some cases decades, pass before they see the light of day.

The #10year challenge, new fad that has taken Facebook by storm and involves a person juxtaposing his or her decade-old photo with the current one, has seen Kashmiri people sharing photos of the incomplete government works here.

 

Netizens mostly share two similar photos of an incomplete pillar of the Jehangir Chowk-Ram Bagh (JCRB) flyover project, which was announced in 2009 and is still incomplete.

The project has missed multiple deadlines. To shut up the criticism they were receiving for the delay, the authorities opened up one way traffic on the first phase of the project, the overall completion of which is still a distant dream.

Announced in 2009, the construction on the flyover, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at an estimated cost of Rs 359 crore, began in 2013, with September 2016 set as its first deadline. The then chief minister Omar Abdullah had laid the foundation of the flyover.

Apart from JCRB, the other major projects which were started years ago but are yet to be completed include: Boulevard widening project, construction of tunnel on the Mughal Road, and widening of an arterial passage in the capital city, Syed Meerak Shah-Zakura road.
Government had approved the Boulevard widening project in 2009 and had directed the concerned authorities to complete the project on fast-track basis. However, the project is yet to be completed.
The next project following suit is the construction of the tunnel on the Mughal Road.
Fourteen years since the Government of India approved its construction, the project is yet to see the light of the day. The project was approved in 2004, when the PDP shared power with Congress in the state. The proposal was for seven-kilometre long tunnel between Zaznar and Chathapani at 3,000 meters altitude on the 230-year-old Mughal road.
However, the work on the project is yet to be started as a result the road remains closed for nearly six months each year.
Similarly, in 2009 authorities started expansion of the Syed Meerak Shah Road from Dalgate to Zakura, primarily for facilitating smooth flow of vehicular movement through congested areas of old city Srinagar.
The widening project for the 10.33 kilometre road estimated at Rs 336.24 crore was aimed to serve as key surface link to old city Srinagar, Hazratbal shrine and the University of Kashmir. However, ten years have gone by but the project is still lingering.

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Kashmir

257 militants killed in 2018 is highest in 4 years

Agencies

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New Delhi, Jan 20: Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the killing of 257 militants in 2018 – the highest in four years – by government forces, official figures show.
A total of 213 militants were killed in 2017, 150 in 2016 and 108 in 2015.
While 142 militants were eliminated in anti-militancy operations till August 31, the rest were killed in the remaining four months.
An official told IANS that August witnessed the killing of 25 militants – the highest in a single month in 2018.
Also, 105 militants were arrested and 11 surrendered in 2018. The number arrested in 2017 was 97, 79 in 2016 and 67 in 2015.
Government forces also secured surrendering a higher surrender of militants in 2018, which was almost six times more compared to 2017. Only two militants surrendered in 2017 against one in 2016. No militant surrendered in 2015.
The data further revealed that the number of violent incidents were also at a peak during 2018 – almost one-and-half times more than 279 incidents in 2017. A total of 223 violent incidents were registered in 2016 and 143 in 2015.
The security forces also seized 153 AK rifles in 2018 — a dip from 213 in 2017, data accessed by IANS revealed. The number was 178 in 2016 and 177 in 2015.
An official deployed in internal security in Jammu and Kashmir said AK-47 assault rifles were the preferred weapon of militants.
The official, who did not want to be named, said that over 300 militants, including foreigners, were still active in the Kashmir Valley, especially in south Kashmir, which is the epicentre of militancy for over three years now.
“And these militants have been continuously attempting to radicalize youngsters in the Valley to take up arms and to shed fear of getting killed,” said the official.
“Militants were known to monitor activities of youngsters on social media – Facebook and Twitter — who are inclined to militant activities and hardcore religious activities,” the official added.

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Mehbooba among ‘strongest’ CMs of JK: Beg

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Srinagar, Jan 20: Senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehboob Beg on Sunday hailed party president Mehbooba Mufti as one of the most consistent and strongest chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir.
Beg, in a statement, said no matter if she is in the government or in the opposition she remained “steadfast”.
“Her politics and conviction finds basis in her ‘pro-people belief’, how she handled the Kathua rape case is a case in-point,” the statement said.
He said that the PDP president resisted the “sinister attempt to disturb and dislodge the tribal community and ensured no politics was played on this issue.”
Beg said: “Mehbooba’s stand was made crystal clear to the all-powerful central government as well, the Home Minister offered unconditional talks, the cases against protestors were withdrawn, the unilateral ceasefire was announced, how can we not appreciate her persisting with pro-people policies and made the BJP agree to matters that were politically inconvenient to them.”
“She took stands very well realizing that she did not have the numbers to dictate terms to the BJP, yet she persisted and since the BJP did not have the intentions to fulfill the terms agreed upon, they had to pull-out,” he said.
He claimed in the statement that the BJP had entered into this coalition by signing on dotted lines, the Agenda of Alliance was a carefully drafted ‘pro-people’ document.
Beg said “it appears that the BJP had no intention to fulfill what they had committed to do, one cannot do much about if somebody intends to cheat and deceive you.”
“We have had people waste historical opportunities. 1996 was a historic opportunity, the government of the day had overwhelming numbers, but did that government dare to take ‘pro-people’ stands? Let history be the judge on that,” he added.

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