Punjab takes consolidation route to cut costs
IN A bid to start cost-cutting as a part of fiscal reforms, the Punjab government is all set to merge Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC), Punjab State Industries Development Corporation (PSIDC) and Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) into one group.
The officials said that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has already given his consent for the merger. These three corporations have been issued letters from the principal secretary seeking detailed proposals with strength of employees’ liabilities, if any, and the expenditure being incurred on salaries.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has warned the state over fiscal deficit and suggested fiscal reforms along with cutting of establishment expenditure. The imposition of new tax will provide matching grant from the Centre.
As per the information available, PSIDC has a liability of Rs 650 crore as loan sanctioned to the industries which are either on the verge of closure because of the losses or went to court seeking compensation of loan.
The PSIEC is the only profit-making corporation as it is involved in the development of 21 Industrial Focal Points located in different parts of Punjab.
Managing director of PSIEC MP Arora said that the merger proposal was not sent by the organisation, but the decision was certainly taken by high-level officials of the state government.
Vice-president of PSIEC staff association Kulwinder Singh confirmed the merger move and said that it was a pre-planned conspiracy to merge the profit-making corporation into a loss-making entity. Employees would be forced to intensify their agitation opposing the merger by holding discussion with other employees unions of the state, he added.
''The merger proposal was not sent by us. The decision has been taken by high-level officials of the state government, including the chief minister''
MP Arora, Managing Director, PSIEC
The association’s general secretary Nulu also opposed the merger move of the government led by SAD-BJP, coalition partners voted to power for second consecutive term, with the support of the employees and there near and dear ones.
“It will prove costly for the alliance in the next Lok Sabha election if the merger move is not withdrawn immediately,” he said.
Both the leaders said that senior officers were responsible for the loss of PSIDC and PFC as they failed to perform their duties to recover the pending loans.