It’s no news that the state-run road transport corporation in Kerala (KSRTC) is a sick unit, very sick, in fact. 

But the liability of the organisation has now crossed   ₹ 3371.42 Crores with more than 60 of its establishments, including its headquarters in the Kerala capital, mortgaged in public financial institutions.  Since May this year, the KSRTC availed loan to the tune of  ₹ 410 crores. 

 

Whenever the corporation finds the going difficult, the state government would pump in more money to bail it out. Besides this, in crisis times, the corporation used to take a loan from financial institutions mortgaging its assets. Thus, assets and establishments, including its headquarters, depots, yards and workshops have been mortgaged in various banks and financial institutions. Most of these assets are allotted to the public sector transport corporation by the state government. 


KSRTC's woes

  • Total debt of KSRTC: ₹ 3371.42 cr. 
  • Loan taken this year alone: ₹ 410 cr. 
  • Needs ₹ 55 cr to pay salary. 
  • Daily loss: ₹1.70 cr.
  • Out of the 93 depots, 63 mortgaged in banks/ financial institutions.

 


Besides this, the corporation has taken loans from public sector banks on a government guarantee. In this year, the KSRTC took loans to the tune of  ₹ 260 crores from Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation (KTDFC) on a government guarantee, which is the biggest lender to the corporation. The KTDFC has given away  ₹ 1,200 crores to the KSRTC so far. 

 

Monthly loss incurred by KSRTC in 2016: 

 

  • June - ₹85 cr 
  • July ₹89 cr
  • August - ₹89 cr
  • September- ₹ 100.27 cr. 
     
  • Daily loss of KSRTC in 2012-13:    ₹ 1.41cr.  
  • 2015-16:  ₹ 1.70 cr


 

KSRTC is one of the sick public sector corporation in the state that has been incurring a huge loss for long. It has 6,000 buses, popularly known as ‘Anavandi’ and a good part of its revenue goes to pensions and salaries and it depends on government funding to keep daily services going. As per a C&AG audit in 2012-13, the daily loss of KSRTC is  ₹ 1.41crore. In 2015-16, the daily loss has spiked to roughly  ₹ 1.70 crores.

 

It has 93 depots across the state and needs over  ₹ 55 crores a month to pay salary. Out of the 93 depots, the corporation has already mortgaged  63 to overcome the financial crisis.  Mortgaging depots also means that the corporation will have to part with the revenue from them towards the repayment of the loan. At present, the corporation has only 30 depots from where it can collect revenue. 


After the left government came into power in May 2016, it appointed Sushil Khanna of IIM Kolkatta as the consultant to consider the restructuring of the loss-making PSU.