Government would act as per the recommendations of the experts committee sent by the Ministry of Textiles on defunct state- owned Anglo-French Textile (AFT) Mills,Chief Minister N Rangasamy told the Legislative Assembly on Friday. The experts panel had visited Puducherry and reviewed the mills recently.
Replying to a question raised by legislators A Baskar (AIADMK) and K Lakshminarayanan, the CM said the government is looking at all options of running the mill. Funds were required for which the administration had approached Centre for a grant of Rs 500 crore. He said that the workers should understand this and cooperate with the mill management.
Agriculture and Industries Minister M Chandragasu said steps were being taken to sell the land owned by the mill at Pattannur to settle the ex-gratia and other benefits to the employees who had opted for Voluntary Retirement Service (VRS) and to clear other dues of the mill and to make it operational. He said Rs 27 crore is due towards the pending salary. An advance of Rs15,000 each amounting to Rs 2.66 crore was paid to the workers in June. As many as 362 workers,82 peons and some officials had applied for VRS, he added.
Both Baskar and Lakshminarayanan wanted the government to clarify how they are going to pay the 8 months salary due to workers and wondered whether it would be possible to clear the dues even if they sell the Pattanur land.
Soon, AIADMK member A Anabzhagan charged that the Congress and N R Congress are enacting a drama on the AFT Mills issue.
Intervening, CM said that the government wanted to run the mills and initiatives have been taken in this regard. Pointing out the functioning of the spinning mills in Puducherry and Karaikal, he said that the administration is examining the feasibility of running the AFT Mills as per the experts committee’s report and waiting for funds from the Centre.