Twenty-two public sector undertakings of the Maharashtra government incurred a loss of around Rs10,000 crore in 2015-16. The state’s investment as long term loans and capital investment also increased by 123% in the last seven years. It currently stands at Rs1.75 lakh crore. This was revealed in a report released by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on public sector undertakings for the financial year ending on March 2016, tabled on the state legislature on Friday.
Maharashtra’s burden of debt is increasing every year and is expected to cross Rs4 lakh crore by the next fiscal year. As a result of the debts, the government ends up paying around Rs30,000 crore as interest for the loans every year. From this fiscal year, the annual interest payment will be Rs31,027 crore, claimed the CAG report.
Providing details about the losses incurred by PSUs, the report stated that during 2015-16, out of the 65 working PSUs, 36 earned a profit of Rs 3,097 crore while 22 PSUs lost Rs9,832 crore.
Three PSUs had prepared their accounts on a no-profit-no-loss basis while the rest had not prepared profit and loss accounts.
Of the PSUs, Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited earned the maximum amount of profit at Rs 2,599 crore while heavy losses were incurred by Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Rs 8,742 crore), Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (Rs 462 crore) and Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (Rs 391 crore), said the CAG report.
Also, there are 22 non-working PSUs in which the state had invested Rs 938 crore. Some of these companies have not been functional since the last 38 years. The report stated that the government’s contribution towards all these PSUs as equity, loans and grants/subsidies during the same year was Rs4,157 crore.
“This is a critical area as the investments in non-working PSUs do not contribute to the economic growth in the state,” the report stated.
Reacting to this, state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the government is trying to finda solution on the financial losses to the state exchequer caused by PSUs. “We have constituted a committee headed by finance secretary to study why we are incurring losses and to suggest solutions to the problems,” the finance minister told HT.
This will be second such committee to be formed after a gap of 25 years.