Public sector companies in Kerala have turned profitable one and a half years after the Left Democratic Front (LDF) returned to power in the State.
The half-yearly reports of the public sector undertakings (PSUs) under the Industries Department for the financial year 2017-18 show that the PSUs have registered an aggregate profit of Rs. 34.19 crore.
Last year in the same period, the PSUs taken together had made a loss of Rs. 113 crore.
"When this government came to power, Kerala's PSUs were running at a loss of Rs. 131.6 crore. It is a matter of pride that the PSUs, having reduced their losses in the first year, have moved to profits in the second year," said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a Facebook post.
"Companies such as Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited and Travancore Cochin Chemicals had begun making profits last year itself. Their operating profits have increased many times in the last six months. Efforts to modernise companies such as Transformers and Electricals Kerala Ltd (TELK), Kerala Electrical and Allied Engineering Ltd (KEL), Autokast and Kerala Automobiles Limited are in the last stage. It is expected that more companies would achieve operating profits by the end of the financial year and aggregate profits would increase by the end of the year," added the Chief Minister.
KMML, which had registered profits of Rs. 40.37 crore in 2016-17, increased its profit to Rs. 136 crore in April-November 2017, an all-time record.
Travancore Titanium Products (TTP) made profits amounting to Rs. 20 crore, compared to Rs. 3 crore in the same period last year.
Travancore Cochin Chemicals (TCC) increased its profits from Rs. 15 crore to Rs. 18.87 crore over the same time period.
The Kerala State Industrial Enterprises Ltd (KSIE), which was running losses last year has turned profitable now.
The Kerala government had increased the plan outlay for the modernisation of PSUs from Rs. 100 crore to Rs. 270 crore.
"It is the comprehensive intervention by the government to turn the PSUs profitable which led to the historic achievement of the Industries Department," said AC Moideen, the Industries Minister. "The government adopted a professional approach for the renovation of the companies", he said.
Expansion plans are being drawn up for KMML, Travancore Titanium and Malabar Cements, the minister said.
The government has decided to speed up measures to set up a new titanium complex which will produce titanium dioxide from mineral sand. A feasibility study for the purpose is underway.
According to statistics compiled by the State Public Sector and Autonomous Bodies Officers Federation (SPATO), 96 public sector companies under various departments in Kerala had registered an average annual loss of Rs. 213.74 crore on the aggregate during the term of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government of 2001-06.
The Kerala PSUs turned around to become profitable during the tenure of the CPI(M)-led LDF government of 2006-11, registering annual average profits of Rs. 292.45 crore on the aggregate.
The PSUs began running losses yet again during the term of the UDF government of 2011-16, with average annual losses amounting to Rs. 645.92 crore from 2011-12 to 2014-15.
The latest figures suggest that the PSUs are yet again turning profitable with the measures taken by the LDF which returned to office in 2016.