PSUs Remain State’s White Elephants

SRINAGAR — A number of Public Sector Units (PSUs) in the state are running in losses with some even failing to provide the salaries to their employees.

As per official figures there are 19 PSUs in the state and most of them are running in heavy losses with several even failing to pay salaries to their employees.
Sources said that 7 PSUs are being provided budgetary support by the government “to meet their wage bills” after they “failed to pay salaries to employees.”

Officials said that the State Road Transport Corporation has suffered over Rs 150 crore losses over the years and its “most assets are lying defunct for the last five years.”  The Corporation earned a revenue of Rs. 98.2 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 41.82 in the current fiscal so far. “The revenue part is continuously declining and we are not even able to pay salaries to employees,” said an official.
The Road Transport Corporation had around 2000 vehicles including buses and trucks in 90s whose number has reduced to around 1500.
Likewise the State Handloom Development Corporation which was established in 1981 to assist handloom weaver societies and small scale industrial (SSI) units in the handloom sector is also facing losses.
In 2013-2014, the Corporation witnessed around Rs 9 crore loss and it  increased to Rs 14 crore in 2016-2017.
Jammu and Kashmir State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (SIDCO) is also in red due to the failure of officials to make recoveries of the loans that they have advanced. “Most of the units went into default. An amount of Rs.12.90 crore on account of principal is due to 23 units, besides interest of Rs. 377.05 crore,” the sources reveal.
Officials further add that another PSU, Jammu and Kashmir Minerals Limited which was incorporated in 1960 as the first public sector undertaking of the state was also in dire straits.

Also the JK Cements Limited has suffered heavy losses over the years. “The JKCL was set up three-decades-ago for 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 delay in release of salaries,” said an official. Others which are also facing losses include JK Forest Corporation, JK Industries Limited, J&K Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation Limited and J&K Minerals. 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 a  memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Central government to gradually phase out the budgetary support to the PSUs.

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