Taking a serious note of the worsening financial health of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), UT administrator Shivraj Patil has directed the administration to disband its board of directors.
CITCO is governed by its board that comprises a chairperson, managing director, directors (ex-officio), all senior officials of administration, and non-official directors, including representatives of industry.
At present, there are 13 directors, nine of them non-official. Most of them have been on the board for over five years, while five are not even related to industry or hospitality sector.
CITCO has witnessed a dip in its earning in recent years in both industrial and tourism sectors.
The cash profit earned during the first quarter this year, Rs. 23 lakh, was 91% lower than the profit earned during the same period last year, that was Rs. 2.5 crore. There are 21 units under CITCO and, according to the sales figures of first quarter, 13 paid salaries in excess of their earnings. A senior official told HT on the condition of anonymity that the current lot of directors had done little in terms of helping the corporation.
Apparently fed up with the poor performance, Patil lashed out at CITCO officials during a recent meeting, and asked for changing the board of directors. Confirming the development, CITCO chief general manager (CGM) Amandeep Kaur said the file pertaining to change in the board of directors had been moved to higher officials.
One of the directors said he welcomed the change: “Only people from related fields interested in serving the corporation should be on the board.” Sources said that some nonofficial board directors had been party to faulty polices framed in the past few years. Giving an example, an official said that Atul Khanna, one of such directors, was on a panel that framed the service rules in 2011 in which education qualification for promotion was relaxed. Subsequently, many middle-level officials got undue promotion, he added.
The non-official directors do not get any remuneration from the corporation, but are entitled to 50% discount on dining in hotels belonging to CITCO, and lodging for a certain number of times a year.
CONTROVERSY ADDED FUEL
According to sources, Patil was also not amused with the decision of the board not to accord extension in service to employees despite his orders to enhance the retirement age to 59 years. The employees later moved the Punjab and Haryana high court, which has stayed the board’s decision not to extend the retirement age.