CITU welcomes plans to revive sick PSUs
The CITU, which is the labour wing of the CPM, remained unsure about Mamata Banerjee’s announcement in the Lok Sabha that she had started a dialogue with the concerned ministries for a waiver of accumulated liabilities of two PSUs, Burn Standard and Braithwaite Co. Ltd.
“We welcome the Railway Minister’s proposal for the revival of Burn Standard and Braithwaite Co. Ltd. But the question is how the companies will be revived? Will they be departmentalised with the Railway Board?” asked the CITU, West Bengal unit secretary.
The trade union wing of Mamata’s own party, Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC) was however, confident of her plans for the revival of these two units.
The president of the union, Sobhandeb Chatterjee said: “The decision is a milestone for Bengal’s revival. The Left parties have been using this issue for political mileage only. Now, Mamata Banerjee has shown that she is willing to back the downtrodden and the workers.”
Burn Standard was nationalised in April 1975 as it was declared sick at that time. Its two units — one in Howrah and another in Asansol — have a total of around 1,000 employees. It started manufacturing railway rolling stocks to cater to the increasing demand of Indian Railways. Today, Howrah works covers an area of 16.172 hectares with covered accommodation of 80,215 sq metres and Asansol-Burnpur Works has an area of 21 hectares with covered area of about 45,000 sq metres.
During the year, the company incurred a cash loss of Rs 147 crore accumulated to Rs 438 crore with a high interest burden of Rs133 crore annual amortisation of VRS expenses of Rs 5.13 crore.