Close in India ?

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Writing in Hindustan Times ( 23 July 2015 ) , Timsy Jaipuria

provides following information about Scooters India Ltd (SIL) :

*   SIL employs 1000 persons

*   Incurred losses from 2002 to 2012

*   Given Rs 200 crore revival package in 2013

*   Expected to make loss in 2015

*   Government could not find a buyer for SIL in2011

*   If SIL fails to revive , Government will try to divest again

All of these reminded me of the following letter that I wrote to 7,500 employees of L&T Powai Works ( individual copies in English and Marathi ), some 30 years back :

————————————————————————

28 Feb 1986

Dear Friends :

FLOGGING A DYING HORSE

The correct  idiom is  “flogging a dead  horse” but  there is every possibility that  the horse ( Scooters India )  is dead by now.

This is because  the enclosed article ( Dying Horse ) 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” :

———————————————————————–

Government Unit ( PSU )………. Loss in last 3 years ( Rs Crores )

————————————————————————

1. Engineering Projects India Ltd. (EPI)……………90
2. Hindustan Steelworks Const. Ltd. (HSCL)……….67
3. Cycle Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL)…………   8.8
4. Scooters India Ltd. (SIL)…………………………  50
5. Tanneries & Footwear Corp. of India Ltd.(TAFCO)..5

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 wants 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 !

IBMC can sack (terminate/retrench)  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 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?”

H C Parekh

General Manager ( Powai )

————————————————————————

It seems , since I wrote the above-listed letter , things have not changed ! May be the ” Industrial Sickness ” has spread

May be we need to launch another initiative called , ” Close in India ”  !

And permitting 100 % FDI in sick units could be another ” Out of Box ” solution worth considering  ! Nothing to lose but something to gain

And , the beauty is , no political party will oppose such ” Privatization ” !

—  hemen  parekh

23  July  2015

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