“As per a decision of the Union Cabinet, the tractor-manufacturing facility in Pinjore is...
proposed to be licensed or leased out to interested parties. Expression of Interest (EoI) has been invited by the company. Four applicants have expressed willingness to utilise manufacturing facilities,” read the response.
It added that the notice inviting tender to finalise licensee would be floated soon.
The last date for receiving such EoIs was extended till August 11.
“The HMT management did not pay any heed to the proposals and decided to close the tractor division, putting the livelihood of hundreds of employees at risk,” Bansal told the local daily.
HMT Pinjore comprises a tractor plant and a machine tool unit. Last year, the Central Government had decided to close three unviable units of HMT including the once popular HMT Watches, along with HMT Chinar Watches and HMT Bearings, by offering an "attractive" VRS to the employees as per 2007 pay scales.
Earlier, Haryana Government had asked the Centre to transfer surplus land of the tractor-manufacturing unit's 837 acres to the state for creation of an industrial estate. Centre asked Haryana to take over the entire land in lieu of settling dues related to voluntary retirement schemes (VRS) of its employees and other liabilities.
The PSU had manufactured successful tractors like HMT Zetor, HMT 3511 and HMT 5911 suitable for all farmers. For nearly two decades, the unit's manufacturing capacity had gone down drastically with private players capturing the tractor market, directly impacting around 2,000 employees. HMT had its golden days till 1999 when it reached the highest output figure of 19,500 tractors in a year and manufactured the highest number of machine tools. Its downfall began from 2000 following the surge in private players in tractor making, especially foreign companies. HMT's failure in keeping pace with the changing trends played its part as well. In April 2013, the Center approved Rs 1,083 crore for the revival ailing HMT, Pinjore. The package included salary and arrears of employees, repayment of loans taken by HMT from public sector banks and a working capital of Rs 100 crore to be released in three installments.