We are not in a hurry !
That seems to be the attitude of India’s Union Governments of the past 32 years
Look at the following news in today’s Economic Times :
The government has kicked off the process of selling its entire stake in Scooters India -marking the beginning of strategic sale of loss-making and non-core public sector entities that also has Air India on the list.
The Department of Heavy Industries has invited global expressions of interest (EoIs) for strategic divestment of entire 93.74% government stake in the company.
The EoIs have to be submitted by May 7, 2018. Lucknow-based Scooters India (SIL), which manufactures three wheelers under brand name Vikram, made a net loss of Rs 10.3 crore in FY17 against a profit of Rs 5.48 crore the year before. The company’s share closed flat at Rs 53 on Monday.
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has appointed Resurgent India as the adviser to manage the transaction. Before the disinvestment, the company will hive off off non-core land of 89.69 acres out of its total land bank of 147.499 acres.
The government has already given in-principle approval to strategic disinvestment of 17 central public sector undertakings. These include Pawan Hans, Bharat Earth Movers, Dredging Corporation of India and Air India.
The selection is based on a criteria devised by NITI Aayog – “high priority” and “low priority” based on national security, sovereign function at arm’s length, and market imperfections and public purpose. Those falling in the ‘low priority’ are in the strategic disinvestment list.
This news reminded me of the following letter ( there were no emails in 1986 ) , that I sent to 7,500 employees of L&T ( Powai Works ) :
28 Feb 1986
FLOGGING A DYING HORSE
The correct idiom is “flogging a dead horse” but there is every possibility that the horse ( Scooters India – SIL ) is dead by now.
This is because the enclosed article about SIL is almost 18 months old.
And as of Dec. 31, 1985, we have such 93,282 dying ( or dead ?) horses in our country.
These are known as “sick units”. What I do not know is whether the above mentioned figure includes public-sector ( Govt owned ) sick-units or not.
Most of these are sick – in fact VERY SICK.
If you wish to know how “sick”, here are some “temperature-readings”.
|No.||Govt. unit||Loss in last 3yr
( Rs CRORES)
|1.||Engineering Projects India Ltd.||90.0|
|2.||Hindustan Steelworks Const. Ltd.||67.0|
|3.||Cycle Corporation of India Ltd.||8.8|
|4.||Scooters India Ltd. (SIL)||50.0|
|5.||Tanneries & Footwear Corp. of India Ltd.||53.0
I understand that the Govt. is planning to wind-up (close-down) the first 3 units and merge the remaining 2 units with some successful public or private sector company.
From the “Dying Horse” article, we find that neither Bajaj nor HMT want to even touch Scooters India !
And no wonder !
A similar company in America would perhaps employ 500 persons whereas Scooters India has employed 3500 persons’.
Reminds me of Bombay Municipality ( BMC ) .
If BMC can sack half of its employees, productivity would go up FOUR TIMES
If you do not believe me, next time stop and count the number of persons pretending to dig a hole for a faulty telephone cable !
And talking of surplus labour, HSCL has 12000 ! ( See following article )
How long before some of us muster enough courage to ask,
” Am I my brother’s keeper ? “
I only hope it does not take another 32 YEARS , to dispose off all of our loss making PSUs, which , successive governments managed to keep alive on a “ Life Support System “ ( read : tax payers’ money )
20 March 2018
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