Protesters led by HPCC general secretary Manveer Kaur Gill, district INLD president Pradeep Chaudhary, HMT Bachao Sangharsh Committee patron Vijay Bansal and several employees...
of the company raised slogans against the state government when the Haryana Chief Minister’s convoy passed from the main gate of the HMT on the Panchkula-Kalka highway, reports a local daily.
Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Ashok Tanwar said his party would not allow the closure of HMT unit in Pinjore, says the report.
While paying tributes to former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his 130th birth anniversary, Tanwar said Pandit Nehru planned big projects like steel plants in Bihar and Rourkela and Bhakra Dam to make India self-reliant.
Expressing serious concern over the decision of the NDA government to close the HMT, Tanwar said plants like HMT, Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd were created to make the country self-reliant. He said HMT became famous world over for making tractors and machine tools. More than 60,000 people had direct employment while lakhs of people had got indirect employment due to this factory.
Tanwar said instead of setting up industries, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has decided to develop fruit and vegetable market at the spot of the HMT. He slammed the state government for not conceiving any plan to set up small industries to provide jobs to workers who lost their jobs on account of closure of HMT.
However, the Chief Minister said the vegetable and fruit market, to be set up in 78.33 acres at a cost of Rs 100 crore, would provide jobs to local unemployed youth. The market would not only help local residents but also those from the neighbouring hill state.
He said farmers from Shimla and other regions of Himachal Pradesh would not have to waste time in travelling up to Delhi to sell their produce.
The Haryana Chief Minister said the market to be set up by the Agriculture Marketing Board would have facilities such as washing, grading, packaging and waxing, freezing, cold store and logistics.
However, Haryana Marketing Board officials had shifted the venue of the foundation stone-laying ceremony from the HMT, Pinjore, to Kalka fearing backlash.
Earlier, HPCC general secretary Manvir Kaur Gill, along with hundreds of supporters, organised a protest rally against the closure of the HMT and sold apples near the Pinjore Garden where Tanwar also joined the rally.
HMT Ltd is a PSU under the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in its meeting held on January 6, 2016 considered and approved the Closure HMT Watches Limited, HMT Chinar Watches Limited and HMT Bearings Limited the Subsidiaries of the PSU and to relieve all the employees of these Companies in terms of approved Roadmap for CPSEs under DHI.
DHI vide their letter No. I- 050II/6/2014-PE-X dated January 13, 2016 have requested to take appropriate action and process the closure of the Company by offering attractive VRS package at 2007 notional pay scales with gratuity and leave encashment also at 2007 notional pay scales, in relaxation of DPE guidelines to the employees of HMT Watches Limited, HMT Chinar Watches Limited and HMT Bearings Limited. As such VRS was introduced in these subsidiary companies and all the employees of HMT Bearings, HMT Chinar Watches Limited along with the employees of HMT WF Bangalore and Tumkur were relieved. All together 894 employees were relieved out of 1040 employees except 146 employees of Ranibagh Unit. The matter with regard to retrenchment of employees was taken up with the Labour Ministry and Order was passed by the Labour Ministry on November 17, 2016.