Bhubaneswar, Feb. 22: State government-owned public sector undertakings (PSUs) are gasping for breath, but no attempts are being made to contain the problem.
Thirty-two of the 64 PSUs have closed down in the past decade.
According to the Economic Survey 2012-13, another PSU turned into a loss-making unit, taking the total number of such units to seven. In 2011-12, the number of loss-making PSUs was six.
“The loss from these seven units could be around Rs 5,000 crore. Of this, Gridco’s cumulative loss is hovering around Rs 3,000 crore,” said a senior official of state government.
Of the 32 operational PSUs, the sick ones are Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited, Kalinga Studio Limited, Konark Jute Limited, Odisha Rural Housing and Development Corporation Limited and Idcol Kalinga Iron Works.
On the other hand, Odisha State Civil Supply Co-operation is running on a no-profit-no-loss basis. The total investment in these 32 PSUs is Rs 8,343.87 crore with Rs 4,423 crore as equity and Rs 3,920.87 crore as term loans.
While no efforts have been made to arrest the problem, the state government has taken all steps to encourage private industries to set up their plants and even inked MoUs with them. It has also invited wrath for its bad policies from the accountant general of Odisha.
Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh said: “The government is trying to project a rosy picture. But they will not be able to sustain the growth rate.” The state’s projected growth rate has come down over the years even though it claimed that it would be more than the national average.
While the growth rate was 8.9 per cent during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012), it slid to 4.9 per cent in 2011-12 against a projected growth rate of 7.8 per cent by the state government. Despite the economic slowdown, the state has projected a growth rate of 6.8 per cent to 7 per cent during 2013-14. However, economists feel that it would plummet further.
Chairman of Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation (OLIC), a loss-making unit, Rohit Pujari, said: “We have taken up a project to set up 15,000 bore wells across the state. With this project, we hope to make the OLIC as a profit-making unit by reducing the amount of the cumulative loss.”
Significantly, the number of employees in the organisation has come down from 13,000 to 1,200 over the years.
“We are in the process of restructuring the PSUs. In the first phase, Odisha Financial Cooperation and Odisha Forest Development Corporation have been taken up. Proposals for creation of special purpose vehicles to transfer stressed and doubtful loans for early settlement are under consideration,” said an official.
Of the 32 PSUs, only Odisha Hydro Power Corporation is authorised to be listed at the stock exchange.