Forest department to revive its loss incurring Siliguri mill
Udayan Guha, Chairman of WBFDC and MLA from Dinhata Assembly constituency, said that he has already discussed the matter with the state forest minister Binay Burman in this regard and they are taking all the necessary steps to revive the only unit of the corporation that is incurring a loss.
The total turn out of the corporation in 2014-15 fiscal was Rs 200 crores and the profit after tax was Rs 13.5 crore. WBFDC had made a profit of around Rs 11 crore in 2013-14 fiscal. The figure shows that the increase in net profit of the corporation in a year is around Rs 2.5 crore.
The saw mill in Siliguri is situated on bighas of land. At present there are around 100 employees in the mill, which includes 16 of the state forest department. Senior officers of the corporation already held a meeting to identify the areas that need to be worked out for revival of the unit.
According to Guha, certain steps need to be taken to turn the unit profitable. First of all, sufficient work for the unit would be brought with support of the state forest department. Some senior officers have been deployed in the area recently and they had initiated their task in this regard. At the same time proper utilisation of the existing man power would work out and help the corporation in achieving its target, said the chairman.
It may be mentioned that this is the first time when such a step has been taken in the past three decades to bring the unit out of the loss making state. The unit had been incurring loss for the past 30 to 35 years. But no “positive” steps were taken to turn it into a profit making one during the Left Front regime.
It was only when the Mamata Banerjee government came in power that the unit had once again started getting some work and now the most important target of the corporation is to turn it into a profitable one.
Recently the unit had received orders of making furniture of some schools. Though the work is a peanut compared to the capacity and magnitude of the unit, it had helped to keep the saw mill rolling. Thus, besides taking all necessary steps, the initiative would also be taken to bring in more jobs.
Meanwhile, the corporation is also planning to increase its man power in all positions mainly the field managers and a proposal in this regard would be sent. At present the strength of the corporation is 700. More 500 need to be added and it would help in easy execution of the planned tasks.
After Trinamool Congress government came to power for the second time, the corporation has started taking up many other projects that would help them make a record in increase of profit as well.
The initiatives include setting up of more infrastructures in the forest areas that would help in boosting the tourism industry and to upgrade the existing ones. Thus, with the increase in infrastructure, steps have also been taken to ensure growth in man power to maintain the same.