|Union minister Anant Geete|
THE NDA government will close down five ailing central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) — HMT Bearings, HMT Watches, HMT Chinar Watches, Tungabhadra Steel Products and Hindustan Cables — in the next three months. This was disclosed by heavy industries and public enterprises minister Anant Geete.
"The cabinet has already given the in principle approval for their closure. Now, we have to send individual proposals relating...to voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) of each company to the cabinet for funds. That should be cleared within three months," the minister said.
Employees of the five PSUs will be offered VRS based on pay scale of 2007 plus additional benefits such as encashment of leave and gratuity.
In 2014, the NDA government had cleared an 'improved' voluntary retirement scheme for Central Inland Water Transport Corporation, which was to be followed by its disinvestment.
As per the Public Enterprises Survey 2013-14, losses at sick/loss-making central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) declined 29.78 per cent to Rs 20,055 crore in 2013-14 from Rs 28,562 crore in 2012-13. At present, there are 65 units in the list of sick PSUs. Geete said the government is considering the formation of a land bank comprising the surplus land with CPSEs. The total land available with loss-making PSUs is estimated to be around 2.5 lakh acres, some of which is in metros such as Mumbai and Delhi. In 2012 a committee appointed by the government had suggested setting up of a Public Sector Land Development Authority (PSLDA) to identify excess land with sick units that can be sold for commercial use.
The minister also noted that he will take up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the issue of utilising surplus cash lying idle with PSUs, for which an entity has been formed. He also said that all the 38 independent directors' posts lying vacant in 31 CPSEs under the department of heavy industries will be filled within one month.