If everything goes as planned, the Kalamassery unit of Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) will get a revival package, crucial for its survival, by the month-end. The file for the same, now under the consideration of the Department of Heavy Industry, will soon be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval.
The package includes `75-crore aid for the six HMT units, including Kalamassery, and revision of wages. The employees of the company, who have been staging a protest raising various demands since January 2010, view this as an end to the crisis. The strike of the employees will touch 1,500 days on Saturday.
The Department of Heavy Industry is also carrying out a feasibility study to award autonomy status to the Kalamassery unit. It is learnt that ICRA, the consultancy entrusted with the study, visited the unit recently and it will meet the Board of Directors on February 10. “The company which saw the last wage revision in 1992 is in dire need of working capital. Since HMT is considered the mother industry it is crucial to revive the entity. The other five units are actually running on the profit made by HMT Kalamassery. It is high time the company is made independent. Around 45 staff will be retiring from the unit this year. If the revival package is not approved, the company will die in about five years’ time as there’s no major recruitment going on,” Saji, joint secretary, INTUC-HMT said.
The HMT unit at Kalamassery has 360 permanent employees and around 250 employees on contract basis. The company targets a revenue of `70 crore this fiscal compared to `63 crore last year. “Though we have enough orders to meet the target, owing to the crunch in working capital the company is facing problems. We hope that the problems pertaining to the HMT will be resolved before the Lok Sabha elections,” HMT sources said.