Balmer Lawrie’s travel unit to ramp up focus on private bookings

Kolkata, Sep 22 (IANS) In face of Rs.150 crore dues from the central government on travel bookings, diversified public sector company Balmer Lawrie & Co on Tuesday said it will enhance its focus on the private sector to grow its travel and tours business.

“Currently, 90 percent of our travel business accounts from the central government and rest 10 percent comes in from the private sector. This year onwards, we are trying to increase the proportion of the private sector to 25 percent,” company chairman and managing director, Prabal Basu told media persons here after the company’s annual general meeting.

He said it will be done over a period of two years.

“The current outstanding from various central government ministries is Rs. 150 crore. We have applied to clear the dues,” he said.

The payments, however, are getting delayed due to procedural practices. Nevertheless, the official said that the other public sector undertakings are paying their dues on time.

According to the company’s annual general report, the travel business is passing through “difficult times”.

It said that the central government, as an austerity measure has down-scaled travel entitlement of government officials on the domestic sector which has impacted its business.

As per the report, domestic travel accounted for atleast 57 percent of the company’s travel business unit’s turnover while earnings from international travel were 22 percent during the 2014-15 timeframe.

“Keeping in view of the changing trend in the travel industry, the strategic business unit has embarked on a major plan of technological upgradation, which will help it to improve its service levels and reduce overheads,” the report said.

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