The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal on Sunday cleared the bills for takeover of Dunlop and Jessop, two Ruia Group owned firms which are now closed.
The Assembly passed the Dunlop India Limited (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Bill 2016 and Jessop and Company Limited (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Bill 2016. This would pave way for takeover of the companies having around 1700 workers, unless its is stalled as the Ruia Group may contest the move legally. The bills said the proprietors (current owners) would be liable for ‘prior’ liabilities. Opposition members raised concern about genuineness of the government intent for bringing the bill hurriedly and termed it as a last minute vote capturing politics in the poll bound state as no provision was made in the vote-on- account placed yesterday for such takeover. Just after coming to power in 2011, this government passed a law to take over the Singur land from Tata Motors to return land to unwilling farmers but the same has been locked in a legal battle after the company contested the move. Finance and Industry Minister Amit Mitra said it was done for public interest and referred to all previous cases of takeovers to prevent any hurdles for vesting the companies. The Centre recently announced takeover of seven tea gardens owned by Duncans in the state. “We are acquiring Dunlop and Jessop. We want the factories to run properly,” the CM had told in the Assembly. Tyre-maker Dunlop has two units, one at Shahgunj in Bengal, is under suspension of work since October 2011. Jessop, which used to manufacture engineering equipment and railway wagons, has two units one at Dum Dum for wagon and Durgapur for cast iron. None of these two companies are into BIFR control now, company officials claimed.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal Valuation Board (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and the West Bengal Correctional Services (Amendment) Bill, 2016, were passed in the Assembly on Saturday.