Govt constitutes committee to revive loss making SRTC
Corporation incurred Rs 100 cr loss in six years
The Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted ahigh-level committee to examine alternative models/options for the revival ofbeleaguered state roads transport corporation (SRTC) to make it economicallyviable and self reliant.
According to an order issued by the general administrationdepartment, the administrative secretary finance department has been nominatedas the chairman of the committee. The committee shall find out ways and optionsto make the SRTC economically viable.
A senior official of the transport department informed thatthe SRTC has recorded over Rs 100 crore loss in the last six years, whichprompted the state government to take a decision in order to make it profitableagain.
"Private transport sector is progressing by leaps and bound,but the SRTC is witnessing losses after losses due to various factors. In orderto address this situation, the high level committee will come up withsuggestions to make it viable," he said.
The losses of the corporation were pegged at Rs 13.73 crorein 2015-16. It may be mentioned here that the downward slide in the revenue ofthe corporation is not a new phenomenon. In 2014-15, the corporation hadsuffered Rs 21.65 crore losses, in 2013-14 Rs 16.97 crore.
The SRTC, which was once a profitable venture of the Jammuand Kashmir government has turned into a loss making undertaking with officialsblaming the "mismanagement" and the government "indifference" as the mainreasons for its decline.
While the losses are increasing, the SRTC failure togenerate revenue is further deteriorating its financial health.
The government each year allocates Rs 30 crore as budgetarysupport to the undertaking for meeting expenses including the salary of itsworkers/employees. Further, the state government releases Rs 5 crore per annumto the corporation for acquisition of fleet.
"Besides these losses, annual salary of the corporation isaround Rs 55 crore which is being met by the help of government's budgetarysupport. The corporation's balance sheet is in red and there is a dire need ofreforms otherwise it cannot survive as someday government may decide to wind itup," said a senior SRTC official.
"Unfortunately, the corporation has even exhausted itsassets, as they were either taken away by the government or sold away. Duringlast few years, the corporation has utilized Rs 30 crore which it had got fromsale of assets," he said adding that the old fleet and revenue pilferage havefurther complicated the issue for the revival of the corporation.
"Due to non-operation of hundreds of vehicles, thecorporation is not able to generate revenue, while as the pilferage in fuel andrevenue is going on unabatedly," he said.
Chairman, JKSRTC, Wajahat Hussain Durrani welcomed theconstitution of the high-level committee. "We are optimistic that the committeewill address the root cause of losses in the SRTC. Earlier also governmentconstituted committees but they didn't come up with concrete action. This timewe are hopeful that there will be positive outcome."