TUs protest against Govt plot to shut Instrumentation Ltd
Workers’ unions on Friday staged protests here against the government’s decision to wind up the loss-making Kota unit of state-run Instrumentation Ltd. The unions also demanded that the state government should accept the Centre’s proposal to acquire the Kota unit.
Instrumentation Ltd (IL) which makes telecom switching system, annunciations, railway signaling system, defense products and nuclear power and thermal control products was declared sick in 1993 and since then continuously making losses despite government efforts to revive the same.
It has has two units at Kota and Palakkad (Kerala). Union Minister Anant Geete this week said that his ministry will send a proposal to the Union Cabinet regarding closure of the Kota unit, which has 600 employees. “A conspiracy is being hatched to shut down IL and leave hundreds of skilled labourers and mechanics unemployed,” said Mukesh Galav, General Secretary of Western Central Railways Employees Union of Kota while addressing a rally here.
He said that labour unions are meeting on March 20 to devise a strategy for saving the unit. Leaders of other labour unions Shakeel Ahmed, Harilal, R K Goswami of SITU, Rakesh Galav of Medical Representative Union also addressed the protest rally and demanded the state government to take over the unit. Meanwhile Congress workers, led by state general secretary Pankaj Metha demonstrated in front of IL Unit gate. The state government is shying away from its responsibility and the central government is committed to shut the unit down, Metha said.
However, a section of engineers working at the Kota unit who also claim not to be part of any labour union, said that the unit cannot be revived due to mismanagement and non willingness of workers to get the company into profit making productive mode.
Meanwhile, Kota MP Om Birla told reporters that he would speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue and would request for the measures of its revival. The state government is not in a position to take over the company and to shell out its existing liabilities, he added. State industry minister Gagendra Singh on Thursday told the Assembly said Kota unit has a huge liability of Rs 800 crore and the government has refused to take it over.
The liabilities would be met out by selling the surplus land of IL unit, the minister 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. The Kerala Government has shown interest in taking over the Palakkad unit but no final decision has been taken on that, Geete said this week. The Palakkad unit has 350 workers.
Employees of the Palakkad unit have been demanding that the government either delink it from its loss-making mother unit at Kota or merge with a profit-making PSU.