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 alleged.
The Union has come down heavily on allegedly flawed policies of the government that have led to the decline in profits of the PSU, reports The Hindu. Kalamassery unit...of the HMT Machine Tools recently posted a loss of Rs. 2.39 crore in the just-concluded financial year. In a scathing note, CITU national secretary K. Chandran Pillai said 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.
It wasn’t even allowed to take part in a fresh tender for the same equipment, the Shell Turn machines, in 2017 purportedly to favour the private sector. CM 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. “But then it was decided that HMT would make two units of the initial lot while the remaining two would be given to some other firm to create capacity and an alternative. That’s why HMT was asked not to participate in the tender that followed. But no one responded to it. We believe we will get the entire order now,” said Bidar.
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 percent 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 sometime now – for this.
Bidar said despite the odds, at least the Kalamassery unit was sure to bounce back strongly. “We have orders worth Rs. 50 crore already. While we manufactured CNC machines and directing gear for the Navy together worth Rs. 20 crore, we couldn’t deliver them pending inspection and clearance by the clients. This led to the loss,” he said. With orders for seven sonar directing gears (from the BEL for the Navy for use in its ships) already with it, the unit is hopeful of landing another order for 11. The unit was expecting other orders too he said.