Himachal’s inherited investment in 13 companies awaits settlement

Shimla: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Finance Accounts Report 2009-10 has brought out that the Himachal government besides investing in several public sector undertakings (most of which are in the red) also has miniscule investments in 13 joint stock companies, which included ACC and Dalmia Cement.

Though the total amount invested in these companies in only Rs 10.14 lakhs but what is interesting is that barring one small investment worth Rs 3000 for 28 shares of ACC, Mumbai made in 1982-83, all the others were transferred to the state on population basis as a result of re-organization of erstwhile Punjab state in 1966.

What’s more, despite Himachal Pradesh having attained full statehood four decades ago, the amount of allocated investments in all 13 companies had not be reconciled so far, the auditor observes. The government has also not received any dividend on these investments.

Whereas the state holds shares in only three of these companies, which are 200 shares of Rs 100 face value of Associated Cement Company, Mumabi, 675 shares of Rs 10 face value of Dalmia Cement (Bharat), Dalmiapuram and 14 share of Rs 50 value of Shri Krishna Rajindra Mills, Mysore.

Total amount invested in ACC is Rs 20,000, in Dalmia Cements it is Rs 7000 and in Shri Krishna Rajindra Mills it is Rs 1000 only.

Discounting allotment of any bonus shares and dividends and after splitting the Rs 100 face value share into the existing Rs 10 face value share, at 8 Apirl, 2011 prices (ACC closed at Rs 1120.05) for the Rs 20,000 investments made against the 2000 shares of reputed company that the government holds are actually worth more than Rs 22.40 Lakhs today.

The government has not been able to earn such an amount from investments of several hundred crores done in many public sector undertakings, which include HP State Electricity Board, HP Financial Corporation, HP Forest Corporation, HP Tourism Development Corporation, HPMC and several others

The larger investments inherited by the Himachal government are in Bharat Steel Tubes, Gannaur (Rs 2.83 Lakhs); Usha Spinning and Weaving Mills, Gannaur (Rs 1.44 Lkahs); Malwa Sugar Mills, Dhuri (Rs 1.44 Lakhs); Jagjit Cotton Mills, Phagwara (Rs 1.22 Lakhs); Sikand Ltd, New Delhi (Rs 1.03 Lakh); Shri Gopal Paper Mills, Jagadhari (Rs 72K); Oriental Spun Pipe Co, New Delhi (Rs 72K); Usha Forgeing and Stamping Ltd Faridabad (Rs 31K); Hindustan Devidat Tools, Faridabad (Rs 12K); and Dholpur Glass Works, Dholpur (Rs 3,000) only.

CAG found that there were no shares allotted against these investments. Whereas some of these companies may not even exist anymore but the investments continue to show up in governments account books.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik has nurtured Hill Post for over a decade. A chequered path had him drift from managing family owned apple orchards, to turning a documentary filmmaker, to a journalist - with India’s leading television networks and newspapers, to boot strapping in founding Start-Ups. He lives in Shimla.

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