More than a dozen Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in Himachal Pradesh have become a burden to the resource-starved state with cumulative losses bordering almost Rs 1,666 crore during the year,with a few of them perpetually remaining in the red.
Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB),which has highest number of the employees (around 25,589) tops the list of 25 PSUs in the red,even as few of the corporations have managed to wipe the losses.
The report on the status of PSUs,tabled in the state Assembly along with the budget documents for 2012-13,shows that the HPSEB suffered losses to the tune of Rs 894.15 crore,while the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) followed with its losses rising to Rs 572.79 crore against the Rs 230.06 crore recorded last year.
In the budget ,Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has provided some relief to the state transport corporation by announcing a grant of Rs 113.65 crore and raising the governments equity to Rs 135 crore. The state Agro Industrial Packaging Ltds losses bordered around Rs 77.80 crore while the Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Produce Marketing Corporation has incurred losses of Rs 55.28 crore and state Forest corporation has suffered losses of Rs 31.66 crore.
On the other hand,the Himachal Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) has earned a cumulative profit of Rs 127.66 crore. The State Civil Supplies corporation,despite being mired in a scam relating to purchase of pulses,has shown a profit of Rs 18.95 crore while the Ex-Servicemen Corporation earned a marginal profit of Rs 13.33 crore.
The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development corporation,which has a wide presence in the state,has cumulative losses of up to Rs 16.94 crore. The State Industrial Corporation had earned a cumulative profit of Rs 9.77 crore but it was in the red during 2010-11 with losses of Rs 2.42 crore.
While the state government has recently attempted to merge some of the loss making PSUs and introduce fiscal discipline,pressure from employees has put the measures on hold. Only one PSU – Himachal Pradesh Small Industries and Export Corporation – has so far has been merged.
The state government,as per its budget proposals,will be spend almost 45 per cent of its Rs 20,244 crore on salaries and pension of government servants. This is perhaps the highest in any state.