Monday, July 11, 2016

Govt to set up industrial estate in vacant HMT land: Report

GIVING some ray of hope for beleaguered HMT unit in Pinjore and its 1,400 employees awaiting salaries for nearly two years, the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government in Haryana is reportedly offering a “deal” to the Centre.
Quoting sources a Chandigarh-based daily reported that Haryana Government has in a proposal sent to the Centre offered to set up an industrial estate in the “unused land” lying with HMT, Pinjore, and offered to pay “50 per cent of the land...
cost (on 50:50 sharing basis) at the circle rates” (collector rate).
While the rates ranging between Rs23 lakh and Rs1.25 crore per acre, the state government will end up paying nearly Rs200 crore as per tentative estimates.
Various agencies, including the district administration of Panchkula, have been asked to submit an assessment report after the finalisation of land pockets by mid-July.
Undivided Punjab had “gifted” 839 acres to the Centre to set up the HMT factory with the understanding that the land would be returned to it and when the factory is closed down or moved out, sources claimed.
With Centre announcing the closure of the watches and tractor units of HMT, the state government issued notice seeking its land back which was challenged in the court.
However, in a bid to reach an out-of-court settlement after various meetings between the Centre and the state government as also the HMT Employees Union, the state government has made the offer for “reclaiming” its vacant land.
“Of the 839 acres with HMT, 446 acres is vacant though only 306 acres is ‘usable’. Despite this being state government land, our proposal offers to pay for half of this land which will take care of the dues of the employees and provide for the VRS offered to them. A special purpose Vehicle too has been set up. The Centre has to take a call on the proposal submitted by the state,” an official was quoted as saying.
Haryana Government had made this proposal to the Centre keeping in view the employees who had been without salaries for the past 23 months.
The state government has repeatedly sent reminders to the Centre, seeking an early decision in view of the “growing unrest among employees which could flare-up into a major law and order situation”.
Mahender Singh, president of the HMT Employees’ Union was quoted as saying, “We are hoping that this is not just another empty promise. We will approach the Centre before the monsoon session of Parliament later this month to bail us out.”

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