The initiatives of the officials to rescue the unit of Hindustan Organic Chemicals Limited (HOCL) at Ambalamugal from financial crisis have met with a major setback owing to the delay in getting financial aid from the union government.
Considering the request of the HOCL delegation, which includes top officials of the unit and people’s representatives in the state, the Centre had offered `150 crore to the management of the unit two months ago.
The delegation met the Cabinet committee members, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram, for securing a favourable decision.
“Though the Cabinet committee had assured us `150 crore at the meeting, the fund is yet to be allotted. The delay in allotting the fund will force us to abandon the projects prepared for rescuing the unit, the largest manufacturers of organic chemicals in India. This will lead to a permanent shut down of a company which had once played a crucial role in the development of the state by sponsoring financial aid to various people welfare projects,” said highly placed officials of the public-sector company.
He added that the centre may soon reintroduce the anti-dumping duty on the import of the chemicals. “But, this will hardly help us to bring the plant to operation. We are running out of raw materials and the Kochi Refinery, which was supplying the raw materials, refused to continue the supply as we had a debt of `90 crore. The future of the unit relies on the financial aid from the Centre,” the officials added.
The HOCL officials said that they had to temporarily shut down the unit five months ago owing to the dearth of raw materials, high stock and no off take of its chemicals, including phenol and acetone.
“The Centre’s policy of liberalizing the rules to the import of the chemicals has led to the high stock of the chemicals at the unit,” they said.
Meanwhile, K P Dhanapalan MP said he will bring the issue to the notice of the Cabinet committee members. “ The Union Finance Mnistry is currently going through a tough time owing to the various issues. This may be the reason behind the delay in allotting the fund. However, we will compel the Centre to allot financial aid immediately. A meeting with parliamentary committee will be conducted soon,” the MP said.
He added that necessary steps will be taken to ensure raw materials to the unit from the Kochi Refinery. “We will request the officials of the Refinery to re-start the supply of raw materials and to give a time period of five months to clear all debts of the unit,” he added.