Even Defunct State-run Companies are Bleeding Taxpayers Dry

According to the CAG data from 14 states, a total of 246 SPSEs are categorised as non-working but have received hundreds of crores from state governments.

While we often hear about the monumental losses made by the Central Public-Sector Undertakings such as BSNL, MTNL, Air India, etc., not much attention is paid to the State Public-Sector Enterprises (SPSEs). Instead of performing essential services, hundreds of SPSEs are engaged in providing goods and services that should be provided by the private sector.

Our state governments run companies in various sectors including hotels and tourism, warehousing, leather, flying clubs, milk products, textile and garments, ceramic goods etc. Most of these companies make continual losses and about 250 of them are defunct only in 14 states. Even when these SPSEs work and make a profit, they are harmful to the people as they take the focus of government away from maintaining law and order to doing businesses.

According to the data collected by Comptroller and Auditor General of India from 14 states, a total of 246 SPSEs are categorised as non-working. Most of them have not been operational for decades but have still managed to get ‘investments’ of hundreds of crores from the taxpayers.

In Maharashtra, the government owns 83 PSEs out of which 22 are non-working. The state government has made a total investment of over ₹938 crore in these corporations. Maharashtra is not alone, the Government of Uttar Pradesh owns 38 non-working PSEs and has invested about ₹1059 crore in them. The Government of Gujarat has invested close to ₹800 crore to keep its 13 non-working PSU’s alive.

Six non-working PSU’s owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu have gobbled up around ₹70 crore of taxpayers’ money. The Government of Assam invested ₹150 crores into its 16 non-working PSU’s. The Government of Odisha has invested ₹117 crore in 28 non-working PSU’s and the Government of Manipur wasted ₹4 crore into 3 non-working PSU’s.

These states alone wasted over ₹3,100 crore of taxpayers’ money in corporations that do not contribute a single rupee to the economy. No one knows how much of our hard-earned money has gone down the drain this way and who does it benefit? It is time we start asking those questions from public officials.

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