JKSRTC running in ‘reverse’ gear despite capital infusion: CAG

Negative financial growth in last 5 years, no target achieved, no customer survey done

SRINAGAR: The infusion of capital into the J&K Government-run State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) has not arrested losses the company has been making over the years. According to the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report which was tabled in Parliament recently, the company has witnessed reverse growth in the last five years.

“The capital infused by the government was not efficiently utilised as the corporation reported a 33 percent increase in accumulated losses between 2014 and 2019,” it said.

“Despite 20 percent increase in Paid-up Share Capital from Rs 204.74 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 245.57 crore in 2018-19, there was a 33 percent increase in accumulated losses. The losses by the corporation in 2014-15 were Rs 1,229.56 crores which increased to Rs 1,639.01 crore,” it said.

The losses by the company were incurred despite the transport sector being profit-making in general.

The corporation, the audit report said, has also failed to achieve targets of revenue collection, despite an increase of six percent in revenue collections between 2014-15 to 2017-18. The report said that the shortfall between 2014-15 to 2017-18 was Rs165.22 crore which is about 37% less. Figures of fiscal years 15-16, 16-17, and 17-18 reveal the losses to be Rs 36.05 crores (31% shortfall), Rs 43.58 crores (35%) and Rs 37.60 crores (32%) respectively.

The management of the company has not been able to invest capital which could have generated the revenue, the CAG noted. As per the report, against a target of 664 buses, only 469 were operated by the corporation in 2014-15 followed by 443 buses out of a target of 614 in 2015-16. In 2016-17, 436 buses operated and in 2017-18 it operated 442 buses against the target of 655 and 642 buses respectively.

Operational revenue too was not achieved which included traffic earnings, passes and season tickets, reimbursement against concessional passes, and fare realised from private operators. Under Kilo Metre (KM) Scheme, the report said, a decrease from Rs 83.09 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 79.71 crore in 2018-19 was found. It was only the operating expenditure, which included fixed cost (personnel, depreciation, interest), variable cost (fuel/ lubricants, tyres/ tubes, spares) and overhead cost, during the same period, which recorded 24 percent increase during the same period.

What could have prevented the losses was not followed either. The internal control mechanism of the Corporation was inadequate as board meetings, monthly meetings, administrative inspections and vigilance checks were not conducted ‘regularly’, the report noted. Only ten meetings of the Board were held during the period 2014 to 2019 although 20 were required to be held as per the JKSRTC Act.

“No survey was conducted by the Corporation to ascertain the satisfaction level of commuters with respect to services provided by the Corporation,” the CAG reported.

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