Thursday, May 25, 2017

HMT land sale to NIA to be complete by June

The Hindu: Kochi: Thursday, May 25, 2017.
The process of selling three acres of land from the 30 acres in the possession of HMT Ltd the Central PSU that owns HMT Machine Tools, Kalamassery to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will be completed by June.
“The government has given the go-ahead for sale of the land and the process of handing over shall be over by June,” B.M. Shiva Shankar, Managing Director of the company, told The Hindu.
However, he refused to answer if the proceeds from the sale would be shared with the Kalamassery unit, the only profit-making subsidiary of the company, as vociferously demanded by the trade unions.
The trade unions have time and again rued that when the company, which was a major manufacturer of a range of products, was restructured in 2000 into a set of subsidiaries under a holding company, the assets went to the holding company (HMT Ltd) and the liabilities accrued to the subsidiaries.
“HMT Machine Tools, Kalamassery, which has done rather well over the years, has suffered the biggest setback from the bifurcation and the lopsided policies,” said an employee of the Kalamassery unit on condition of anonymity. A huge controversy erupted the last time the holding company chose to sell 70 acres of land to a Mumbai-based firm, Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) the deal was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court.
“The holding company would be richer by ₹8 crore from sale of the land, which had actually been owned by the Kalamassery unit until the State government granted unhindered transaction rights over 100 acres of land to the holding company in the year 2000,” the employee said.
Information obtained under the Right to Information Act (RTI) early this year shows that the State government had allotted 900 acres of land to HMT in the State in 1963. But the extent of land actually handed over to the company in then Thrikkakara north, south and Aluva villages was 781.59 acres.