Himachal Budget: 13 out of 23 PSUs in red, major drain on exchequer

Proposal to lease out loss-making units under consideration

Himachal Budget: 13 out of 23 PSUs in red, major drain on exchequer

Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service
Shimla, March 6

Thirteen out of the total 23 public sector undertakings (PSU) are proving to be major drain on the cash-strapped Himachal government with their total loss amounting to Rs 3,443.16 crores.

HPSEB biggest loss-making unit

  • The biggest loss making unit is HP State Electricity Board (HPSEB) with a loss of Rs1,531.50 crore.

  • The HPSEB is followed by Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation with Rs1,387.27-crore loss

  • Next comes HP Power Corporation with Rs212.82 crore loss and HP Forest Development Corporation Rs160.16 crore loss.

  • Total loss of Rs3,180.74 crore incurred by these 23 PSUs till March 31, 2018 has shot up to Rs3,443.16 crores till March 31, 2019.

The profit and loss details of the 23 PSUs reflected in the budget proposals for 2020-21 presented by Chief Minister in the Vidhan Sabha clearly show that despite the best efforts of the government, they continue to remain in the red.

The biggest loss making unit is HP State Electricity Board (HPSEB) with a loss of Rs 1,531.50 crore followed by Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation with Rs 1,387.27 crore loss, HP Power Corporation Rs 212.82 crore and HP Forest Development Corporation Rs 160.16 crore.

What is notable is that the total loss of Rs 3,180.74 crore incurred by these 23 PSUs till March 31, 2018 has shot up to Rs 3,443.16 crores till March 31, 2019. Within one year the loss has increased by Rs 262.42 crores.

The main-profit making PSUs include HP State Industries Development Corporation which has registered the highest profit of Rs 65.20 crore followed by HP Ex- Servicemen Corporation Rs 49.27 crore, State Civil Supplies Corporation Rs 36.08 crore, HP General Industries Corporation Rs 32.74 crore and HP State Electronics Development Corporation Rs 7.93 crore. There are only 10 PSUs out of a total of 23 which have registered profit.

Interestingly, even though successive regimes, both of the BJP and the Congress, have been keen on winding up or merging some of these PSUs none have had the courage to do so, fearing the wrath of the employees, who constitute a powerful chunk of the electorate in the politics of the hill state.

There are a total of 29,570 employees in these 23 PSUs with HP State Electricity Board having the major chunk of 13,190 employees, which has also registered the highest loss. The state Transport Corporation has a strength of 10,426 employees and has a huge loss of Rs 1387.27 crore. The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Corporation which has registered a loss of Rs 33.84 crore has 1,455 employees.

A proposal to lease out the loss-making units out of the total 56 properties, mainly hotels, has been under the active consideration of the present regime also but it has not been implemented owing to pressure from the employees, who would have been adjusted in other departments.

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