Himachal tourism corporation deep in the red

Shimla: A working profit for two consecutive years notwithstanding, auditors of HP Tourism Development Corporation have pointed out that fixed assets worth Rs 51.67 crore created out from central and state government grants are not even accounted for in the company’s books.

HPTDCs flagship property - Hotel Holiday Home, Shimla

The audit carried out under supervision of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) by a local chartered accountant firm reports that the financial statement of HPTDC is deficient by Rs 51.67 Cr, the amount given to the PSU as grants for creating the fixed assets.

What’s more, registration of land title deeds of many properties had not been finalized since 1972, even though HPTDC was defecto owner of the buildings constructed on them, the report mentions.

Under centrally sponsored schemes, the corporation received Rs 10.49 Cr in 2010-11 for execution of various projects.

On behalf of the HPTDC board, chief minister P K Dhumal as chairman in the director’s report declared a profit of Rs 1.58 crore for the year under consideration, which has been objected to by the auditors Soni and Rustogi.

The audit has pointed out that profits have been overstated by Rs 31.55 lakhs as no provision had been made for Rs 13.29 lakhs due as leave encashment on account of employees pay revision.

The auditors have also objected to the profit entry of Rs 18.26 lakhs that the corporation earned by sale of Hotel Deothsidh.

“In our opinion the sale consideration above the original cost of assets should be shown as capital reserve,” the report says.

As the corporation has not maintained a fixed asset register, the auditors were unable to verify profits or loss on disposal of assets.

Interestingly, a deficit of Rs 57.63 lakhs for operating Himachal Sadan, a prime property in a plush area of Delhi, has been made up from surpluses generated by Himachal Bhawan, Chandigarh.

Sale of 4 buses for Rs 6.17 lakhs that were received from health department in 2004-05 without any consideration have been treated as income.

Accounts of Golf Course Naldhera have been audited by another firm and incorporated in the corporation accounts, the audit report mentions.

Against an income of Rs 62.62 crore in 2009-10, , the income for 2010-11 was reported at Rs 69.70 crore.

However the expenditure increased substantially from Rs 56.93 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 65.48 Cr in 2010-11 and subsequently profits declined from Rs 3.08 Cr to 1.58 crore, the HPTDC board financial statement records.

Transport wing of HPTDC contributed Rs 53 lakhs towards the operational profit. Staff salary was Rs 28.47 crores, other benefits and perks were Rs 9.23 crores.There are 1733 employees on its rolls.

With a government decision of charging lease rent for its properties from 2009-10, the corporation has made a two year provision of Rs 1.23 Cr for it on its books.

Terms and conditions of handing over Hotel Mandav at Mandi to IIT Mandi in 2009-10 had not been settled.

The auditors were paid a Rs 1.97 remuneration fee for doing the audit.

HPTDC operates 57 hotels in the state that have 1051 rooms with a capacity of 2256 beds. Besides, the chain also runs 60 restaurants and smaller eateries.

Even without considering the huge grants handed out to the corporation, on a share capital of Rs 12.30 crore, HPTDC had eroded its value and was running an accumulated debt of Rs 16.94 crore on its books.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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