BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Orissa High Court has directed for liquidation of Orissa Drugs and Chemicals Limited (ODCL), the only Central PSU under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers in the State, the authorities ‘surprisingly’ continue to sign MoUs to supply medicines.On April 6, the High Court had ordered for liquidation and appointed official liquidator to take over possession of the assets and properties of the company as neither the ODCL nor any share holder submitted proper revival project.
In a subsequent order following an application by the petitioner, Employees Union of the Company, the HC on May 4 directed to discharge its liabilities by paying the dues of the financial institutions, secured creditors, employees including EPF and statutory dues in six weeks. “When the company is in liquidation, the local authorities have been signing MoUs and receiving advances from out of State buyers to supply them medicines. How can they do so? It is illegal and amounts to cheating,” said an employee.
The ODCL plant having production facilities for injections, tablets, capsules, liquid orals and ORS at Mancheswar was set up as joint sector unit with the State Government in May 1979. The share of Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL) and Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (IPICOL) in the company is 51 per cent and 49 per cent respectively.
The PSU was, however, declared a sick unit due to irregularities and embezzlement of funds by some unscrupulous authorities and subsequently referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR). In 2003, the BIFR opined that ODCL should be wound up as per the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985.
Following the BIFR opinion, though the High Court had ordered for winding up the unit in 2006, the order was later stayed. The plant was revived in 2013 after the Ministry allotted `6 crore under its modernisation plan. Several attempts to contact plant in-charge SK Kar turned futile as he did not pick up calls from ‘The Express’.