Thursday, May 26, 2016

PEs profits up, dividend down

Though Public Enterprises (PEs) recorded impressive profit in the fiscal year 2014-15 compared to a fiscal year ago, their return has decreased.
They posted net profit of Rs 33.92 billion in the last fiscal year compared to Rs 5.5 billion, some Rs 29 billion in 2013-14 more, according to a report published today by the Finance Ministry. But they paid Rs 6.45 billion to the government as dividend, which is less compared to what they had paid a fiscal year ago.
Of the 37 PEs, some 20 posted net profit, whereas other 14 are still in net loss compared to 15 in 2013-14. NOC, which was in net loss in 2013/14, logged impressive profit in the last fiscal year.
"The net profit of these PEs was Rs 5.5 billion in 2013/14. In 2012/13, they had reported net profit of Rs 11.4 billion," the report added.
Despite regular political bickering, increasing red tape and weak governance, PEs were in green due to huge profit churned by Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), Nepal Telecom, Rastriya Banijya Bank Ltd (RBBL) and Agriculture Development Bank Ltd (ADBL).
NOC, which used to be in loss in the past years, recorded profit of Rs 15 billion in the last fiscal year, whereas Nepal Telecom, RBBL and ADBL have been contributing huge revenue to the state coffer after they successfully underwent reforms.
In 2013/14, NOC had had reported loss of Rs 6.25 billion.
Though profits of PEs have increased, their return to the government has decreased. In 2013/14, five PEs -- Nepal Telecom, Industrial District Management Ltd, Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company, ADBL and Citizens Investment Trust -- had paid Rs 6.61 billion as dividend to the government. However, in the last fiscal year, only Nepal Telecom, Industrial District Management and National Housing Company paid Rs 6.45 billion dividend -- some 1.59 percent of GDP -- to the government.
"The return is only 5.12 percent of the government investment on PEs," the report said, adding that the rate of return is lower than the current interest rate. But PEs also pay income tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), and other non tax revenue to the government.
The government has made share investment of Rs 126.16 billion on PEs, according to the report.
Likewise, total operating income of 37 state-owned enterprises increased by 5.06 percent to Rs 270.48 billion in the last fiscal year from Rs 257.81 billion in 2013/14 -- 15.48 percent up from Rs 223.26 billion in 2012/13.
Though it alone cannot gauge the overall efficiency of PEs, the rise in operating income reflects improvement in efficiency of state-owned enterprises.
According to the report, three PEs -- Nepal Engineering Consultancy Service Center, National Construction Company Nepal and Janakpur Cigarette Factory have not submitted any financial data to the government as they have already paid off their employees.

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