Appointments will burden boards, corporations

Appointments will burden boards, corporations

The decision to nominate political heads to boards, corporations and urban development authorities in Karnataka might have brought cheers to Congress workers, but the move will burn a big hole in the pockets of these State-owned public sector undertakings (PSUs) and authorities.

It is a practice that the ruling party nominates its loyal workers as chairmen to various PSUs such as the Mysore Sales International Limited and authorities like the Bangalore Development Authority.

The political nominations are done purely to please the leaders who are close to powers that be, and it has very little to do with improving the functioning of PSUs or the authorities, sources said.

Those denied a party ticket to contest the polls or those denied a berth in the council of ministers are accommodated in PSUs or authorities by giving them a minister of state rank. There are 92 posts of chairmen and vice chairmen in PSUs and authorities in the State. Besides, about 800 persons are nominated as members.

Minister rank

Normally, official sources said, those nominated are given the minister of state rank. The previous BJP government was more generous and accorded the Cabinet minister rank to many of the chairmen. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that the total monthly expenses of facilities, perks and allowances given to chairmen with the minister of state rank is over Rs one lakh.

However, facilities, perks and allowances depend on the financial condition of a particular board or corporation. 

For, all the expenses are borne from the accounts of the PSU and not from the State exchequer. If it is a profit-making PSU, then its chairman gets all that she/he is entitled to. If it is a loss-making PSU, then she/he may not even get the monthly honorarium. 

But all the PSUs are owned by the government and a majority of them are surviving on financial aid from the government, the sources said.

If the government refuses to give any status, then she/he will get facilities as defined in memorandum and articles of association of the particular PSU, if it is registered under the Companies Act.