Alind within tantalising reach of Somani Group as govt firm on handover

This could well be the ultimate corporate fantasy, if you  like. A company which has spent a mere `175 crore being allowed ownership of a company having assets worth a staggering `5,000 crore plus, th

Published: 06th October 2017 01:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th October 2017 10:50 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: This could well be the ultimate corporate fantasy, if you  like. A company which has spent a mere `175 crore being allowed ownership of a company having assets worth a staggering `5,000 crore plus, that too with the blessings of the state’s LDF Government.  It is the Aluminum Industries Ltd (Alind)  having plants at Kundara, Mannar and the state capital, besides several hundred acre of  prime land  worth  thousands of crores in Hyderabad and Odisha, which is been ‘gifted’ away to the Somani Group which had  stepped in as a  promoter two years ago.

Set up in 1946, Alind landed in the hands of the promoter company Somani Group in 1989 under an Industrial Rehabilitation and Financial Restructuring plan. But after it left Alind in bad debt to the tune of I108 crore in just four years, Somani Group started efforts to alienate the company’s assets, according to the trade unions. Alind owns prime real estate spread over 100 acres near  Hyderabad city, 46 acres at Hiracud in Odisha, 3 acres of land at Vilappilsala in Thiruvananthapuram, 27 cents of land at Vazhuthacaud in the heart of the city, 25 cents in Kochi, 46 acres at Mannar  and 2,000 sq feet office space at Nariman Point in Mumbai.

Somani Group which managed to claim 44.44 per cent of the share capital, had even gone to the extend of fixing the face value of the shares at `1  instead of the original price of `10.  “The company is trying to settle the financial liabilities due to the employees by paying just  `32.5 crore . The workers have  filed an appeal before the Appellate Authority for  Industrial Rehabilitation and Financial Reconstruction,” said G Ashokan, Alind Employees’  Collective  president.

Since the Centre had dissolved the  Appellate Authority for Industrial  Rehabilitation and Financial Reconstruction (AAIFR), the case has to be filed before the National Company Law Tribunal(NCLT) afresh, he said. K K Ramachandran Nair MLA, who has been president of the Alind  Switch Gear  Employees Union,  said it is Fisheries Minister J Mercy Kutty Amma representing Kundara in the state Assembly who is showing undue interest in giving away Alind on a platter to the Somani Group.
“It should be noted here while E P Jayarajan was the Industries Minister he had taken a strong stand against handing over the company to the Somani Group. He wanted it to be taken over by the government. Somani Group was just a promoter and it had no right to sell the share, ”  he said.

K K Ramachandran Nair said: “Everybody related to the company is aware of the huge offers being made for supporting the sell-off.   It was after V S Achuthanandan sent  a complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) and sought a CBI probe the then Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty made it clear he would not press ahead with the move.”

Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma told Express the government had no plans to take over the company despite a call in this regard from various quarters.“ The government cannot take over the company. Any such move will further delay the resumption of the company’s functioning. We don’t want to  drag the matter into an unending legal battle. If we had money we will have reopened the Cashew factories  in Kollam district,” she said.She  said nobody’s interests will be served in taking over the company just to claim the land belonging to it in the other states. Interestingly, she chose to pass the buck to former Industries Minister E P Jayarajan for the confusion on the issue as he had initiated steps to take over the company. 


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