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CounterPoint : Krishna Glass


Online Report

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usm-red.gif (836 bytes)Haldia : West Bengal's Dream for 21st Century
The status of Haldia Petrochemicals on a perspective of State's Industrial scene
usm-red.gif (836 bytes)CounterPoint: Left Front Govt approach towards Industry-Krishna Glass Factory


The BJP-led Government at the Centre has decided to close down eight public sector units in the country of which six are in West Bengal. The workers, thousands in number, will lose their job but the voluntary retirement Scheme for them will only provide a small gain in lieu of their job. The beneficiaries of these closures will be the private sector industrialists who will be offered land and machinery of these factories at throwaway prices. The decision of the present Central Government only proves that it wants to vigorously pursue the policy of liberalisation of the Narasimha Rao Government of the Congress.

Almost simultaneously another development took place in West Bengal. The Left Front Government in West Bengal announced on October 16 that production in the Krishna glass factory would resume again. The State Government would take the initiative in reviving the PSU. The factory had remained closed for a number of years. The outlook of the two governments is most exemplified in the decision ---one going for outright closure threatening the jobs of thousands and their families and the other making honest efforts to revive a closed unit and succeeding. Despite the long list of promises the BJP made before the Lok Sabha election, the party’s pro-industrialist character cannot be hidden now. They have only misled the people. Krishna ceramics and glass has two units, one at Jadavpur and the other at Baruipur. In 1974 the then Central Government took over the management of the company but later did little to make it viable. Thereafter the Left Front Government took over the control of the management nationalising it in 1987. Since the hurdles were many, it could not be revived so early. Operations in the factory remained suspended and it finally stopped production in 1991. At that time the total number of workers and employees was 700. However, despite stoppage of production they were getting their salaries. The left Front Government has continued its efforts to reopen the factory for a long time. At one point of time the State Government was considering a proposal for starting a joint venture company with a private sector entrepreneur. But the Left Government did not pursue the JVC idea as it could not accept the proposal of the industrialists for reducing the complement of workers. After assessing the market of the products of Krishna Glass for over a year, a project has been prepared the implementation of which requires Rs. 7.85 crore. Since the Jadavpur unit of the company is located in the congested area, the furnace could not be erected there. So all work relating to production will be done in Baruipur. In addition to glass products, the factory will henceforth go in for ceramic tiles production. Production of each of the items will amount to 20 tonnes a day. At present the company has a workforce of around 600 and in future another 60-70 heads; may be added to the existing complement. In order to implement the project provision has been made in the State Government’s budget. Commercial production is expected in about 10 months. After prolonged efforts the Left Front Government has succeeded in reviving the Krishna Glass. The success cannot be questioned. But what about the BJP Government? It has only set up a ‘brave’ example of closing down eight public sector units in its rule of only seven months. Although National Instruments of Jadavpur has not been included in the hit list of six of West Bengal PSU's it is very much on their card for closure.

Centre has announced the closure 64 coal mines in the State throwing 71560 workers and employees out of employment. The BJP's able Prime Minister is reported to have made up his mind to issue an order closing down 39 PSUs in addition to these nine the fate of which the BJP has already sealed.

Eleven thousand more workers - employees are to lose their jobs. Ironically, they will retire voluntarily. That is the jargon they use these days.

The BJP claims that no other Central Govt. like the one led by it has prepared such good VRS plan involving an expediture of Rs. 517 crores. Alas! for the revival of these units this able govt. has not spent a single rupee.

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