Its profit last year was Rs 85 lakh. The unit’s production dipped from Rs 59.01 crore in the previous fiscal to Rs 44.31 crore in the financial year ended this March.
While the production of computer numerical cutting machines (CNC) worth Rs 24 crore for various clients was completed, some observations made by...
clients on the inspection of the machines could not be addressed before the financial year ended. Thus they remained unsold technically, a media report quoting an official said.
The unit could only complete one of the three sonar directing gears ordered for naval ships. In fact, the order for the manufacture of directing gear in collaboration with the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory and Bharat Electronics was instrumental in the unit looking up in the past years.
A skilled and experienced workforce and modern infrastructure are needed to pull the company out of the trough, but even those retiring from service are not being replaced.
The Kalamassery unit now has just 204 employees on its rolls as against 235 last year. Even some departments are facing the prospect of closure following loss of human resources. The plant at the print machinery division, once a prestigious wing of HMT, has not been functioning since 2016.
Meanwhile, the ‘Make in India’ initiative along with maladministration and drain in skilled manpower is responsible for the HMT Machine Tools plunging into huge losses, the HMT Employees Union affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has maintained.
CITU national secretary K. Chandran Pillai told a national daily that the ‘Make in India’ programme was used as a ruse to deny the HMT of its rightful contracts.
He said while HMT was to receive a contract worth Rs 16 crore from the Ordnance Factories following a tender in 2016, it was not awarded. Worse, it wasn’t allowed to take part in a fresh tender for the same equipment, the Shell Turn machines, in 2017 purportedly to favour the private sector, he alleged. C.M. Bidar, general manager of the Kalamassery unit, said the Ordnance Factories of Kanpur and Ambajhari together needed 14 such equipment, each worth Rs 3.5 crore to Rs 4 crore. The tender for the same was issued a few times and only HMT, which had been making such machines, responded.
Pillai said while the domestic market has a demand for machine tools worth Rs 11,600 crore, all six machine tools units of HMT could only make products worth Rs 172 crore, less than 2% of the demand, in 2017-18. He blamed the Centre’s policies, mismanagement of HMT and the company’s eroding manpower – human resources augmentation has not been happening for quite some time now – for this.