BrahMos takeover: KELTEC was in the black
By Tiki Rajwi | Published: 17th November 2012 09:24 AM |
Contrary to what Defence Minister A K Antony and the political establishment has been claiming for a while now, state-owned Kerala Hitech Industries Ltd (KELTEC) was already out of the red and very much in the black when it was taken over by Indo-Russian missile firm BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd (BAPL).
Documents sourced by ‘Express’ show that KELTEC was out of the purview of the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) by early September 2007, months before the agreement was signed between the state government and BAPL finalising the take-over to form BrahMos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Ltd.
“As a major breakthrough, our company has been discharged from the purview of BIFR vide order No. 10474/RC2/2006/LW dated September 1, 2007.
“This is an outcome of our concerted effort to improve the performance of the company in the successive years after declaring as sick industry by BIFR,” reads a circular issued by the then KELTEC managing director G M Nair on September 3, 2007, for the information of the employees.
“As a result, we should shoulder very high responsibility to retain the status of profit-making organisation in the true commercial sense,” the circular continues.
At the time of the takeover, in December 2007 and ever since, the impression created in the public has been that KELTEC was bogged down by heavy losses and that the takeover had come as a godsend. In fact, Antony had repeated this version at the inauguration of the missile integration complex at BATL on Wednesday.
In a letter to CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta on October 13, 2011, Antony had maintained that “...at the time of take-over, the company (KELTEC) was facing severe financial crunch with low production, multiple union activities and was under BIFR with loans to be repaid to ISRO and DRDO.”
Financial experts point out that a takeover would have been difficult under the Companies Act had KELTEC been a loss-making company and listed by BIFR.