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HC snubs Centre's bid to sell Bengal Chemical land

Kolkata: In a major blow to the Centre's decision of strategic sale of land of Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BCPL), the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday declared that no land belonging to the first pharmaceutical company in the country can be sold.
In 2016, the sale of land for the central public sector undertaking was decided by the Union cabinet, challenging which Bengal Chemical Sromik Kormochari Union had moved the Calcutta High Court. Sources in the Calcutta High Court said that Justice Debanshu Basak, while delivering the judgment, had said that the company has been making profit and as it is not a sick unit, there is no question of allowing the Centre to proceed with the sale.
"BCPL is a profit-making unit and is linked with the Bengal freedom struggle. The Centre is going for privatisation of all its PSUs, except those in the defense sector, which is undemocratic and illegal. The Centre would start with the sale of land and will gradually sell off the company. Health should be a priority area and it is the responsibility of the Centre not to be negligent towards this sector. This was my argument and the court has upheld it," counsel for the Sromik Kormochari Union Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharjee said after the judgment.
It may be mentioned that various steps taken by the management has seen a turnaround for Bengal Chemicals and it has clocked a profit of Rs 4.51 crore in 2016-17, against a loss of Rs 9.13 crore in the previous year. The company is eyeing a business of around Rs 120-150 crore by the end of this financial year with a net profit of Rs 10 crore.
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