Millennium Post

Govt plotting to shut down Hind Cables, Instrumentation Ltd

The Cabinet is likely to decide on a proposal to shut down terminally ill Hindustan Cables by offering a voluntary retirement scheme to its 1,500 employees in a couple of weeks, Union Minister Anant Geete said on Tuesday. “The proposal regarding closure formalities of Hindustan Cables should be cleared by the Cabinet in 1-2 weeks,” Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises Minister Geete told reporters. As per the proposal, employees of Hindustan Cables will be offered VRS as per 2007 pay scale. 

The Cabinet had earlier approved closure of seven terminally sick public sector units, including Hindustan Cables, which have incurred a total loss of around Rs 3,139 crore over a period of time. The Heavy Industry Ministry was given the task of firming up individual proposals entailing voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) related to the central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) falling under it, including Hindustan Cables. Reports of revival of the company had surfaced after the Defence Ministry approved its takeover by Ordnance Factory Board. The Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises was supposed to take a call on it after taking into account views of all the ministries concerned.

The government has already decided to shut four CPSEs including three units of HMT and Tungabhadra Steel after the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave the nod to their individual closure proposals entailing VRS, etc. Asked about how many employees of these affected CPSEs will be on the streets, Geete said: “We are not sending anyone onto the streets. In fact we want them to be happy at home... The employees have not been paid salaries since 2-3 years so they are already on the streets. 

“Therefore, we have decided to offer the employees VRS as per 2007 pay scales. They were earlier being paid salaries as per 1987 pay scales so the employees are happy. They have requested that the VRS be offered in three months instead of six months so we are making efforts towards that.” Moreover, government will send a proposal to the Union Cabinet regarding closure of the loss-making Instrumentation Limited unit at Kota in Rajasthan, which has 600 employees, Union Minister Anant Geete said. While the Kota unit of Instrumentation Limited has been in the red since many years, the Palakkad unit has been making profits. Geete had earlier written to Rajasthan and Kerala governments requesting them to take over the units. “Rajasthan has rejected the proposal so we have decided to shut the unit. We will send a proposal to Cabinet in this regard. The Kerala Government has shown interest (in taking over the Palakkad unit) but no final decision has been taken yet on that. The Kota unit has 600 employees while the Palakkad unit has 350 employees,” Geete told reporters here. 
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