Pilgrim tourism does not create a demand for these roadside facilities.
Locationally, the State as a whole is at a disadvantage compared to Haryana,
Himachal Pradesh and in normal times Jammu & Kashmir, where there would be
sufficient demand for highway facilities and destination resorts. Many complexes
were opened without assessing their economic viability as most of its complexes
had been continuously running in losses due to low occupancy, improper location,
high incidence of salary cost, excess consumption of material and fuel and lack
The Corporation has not acted as a
facilitator for development of tourism through tie-ups with other States and
Central agencies to develop tourist infrastructure facilities in tandem for
creating a brand image for Punjab tourism. In the very nature of the tourist
business, a bigger role for Government does not promise possibility of success.
What rightly belongs to Government is a promotional role through information,
guidance and extension of safety, stainless steel camera housing and security in using improvised surveillance camera, pressurized camera housing to tourists.
Officers Welfare Association agreed that Punjab Tourism Development Corporation
did not have much scope of playing a big role in hotel industry in view of the
considerable private participation in this sector all over the country. The
Association has attained a consensus among employees in favour of winding up of
the Corporation with the condition that severance package should be
sufficiently attractive. In this connection, they referred to State Trading
Corporation of India which had given three months salary for each completed year
of service as also HMT and public sector banks which had given 2 ½ months and 2
months salary per year of service by way of VRS. This was in addition to the
encashment of leave and other benefits like gratuity and provident fund. The
same viewpoint has been endorsed by the Employees’ Association also so as to
achieve privatization without tears.
Restructuring / Revival
The break up of its
expenditure in 1996-97 was 40% on establishment, 21% charged for depreciation,
5% on electricity & water charges and 13% on rent etc., thereby, indicating that
its performance cannot be improved just by restructuring. Even strategic
partners may be interested in reviving only those complexes that are suitably
located having potential for tourism and hotel business.PTDC has also
lost its socio-economic relevance in the new millennium to run hotels,
cafeterias, bars, motels etc. These can be best left to the private parties.
The Commission, therefore, recommends that:
1.PTDC should be closed and
all its properties be disposed of in a phased manner.
2.The properties of PTDC
built on other department’s land should be treated as properties of PTDC for the
purpose of sale of assets. The valuation of property should be assessed at
commercial rates and not on the basis of restricted land use for running hotels
and restaurants. The Corporation has not estimated the market value of its
properties but hopefully it will be high enough to take care of all the
liabilities of the Corporation.
3.The role of facilitating
tourist infrastructure in the State should be entrusted to the proposed Punjab
State Infrastructure & Industrial Development Corporation (PSIIDC). Chapter-4
on the Role of Public Sector Undertakings in the Development of Infrastructure &
Industry should be read as a part of these recommendations also.