Hindustan Motors to clarify on land sale

August 5th, 2011 - 12:07 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 4 (IANS) Hindustan Motors, the flagship venture of the multi-billion dollar C.K. Birla Group which gave the country the iconic Ambassador car, Thursday said the West Bengal government has sought some clarifications from the company on a land sale and it would provide the same.

“Some clarifications have been asked for. We will give the clarifications,” chairman C.K. Birla told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s 69th annual general meeting.

The state government has reportedly sought the clarifications related to the sale of 314 acres of excess land the company had in its Uttarpara plant in West Bengal’s Hooghly district.

The company has total 741 acres in Uttarpara of which the plant is constructed on 427 acres.

As the land was vested with the state government, the company had to seek its permission to sell it off. The government gave the green signal in 2006, after the company proposed to use the proceeds to revive the ailing plant and repay dues of the workers.

The company had then sold off the land to Bangalore-based Shriram Properties for the development of an integrated IT township.

The government reportedly feels the company understated its revenue from the land sale and also did not utilise the fund fully for the twin purposes.

However, Birla said the company had ploughed back into the plant’s operations the money it got from selling off the land to Shriram Properties.

The company officials said last November-December the fund utilisation audit was done.

During the year, the company earned a profit of Rs.75 lakh after taxes, including other income from sale of properties/shares, on revenues of Rs.850 crore as compared to a loss of Rs.51.1 crore in the previous fiscal. Its turnover increased by 15 percent during the year.

The company has also reported a net profit of Rs 17.20 crore in the first quarter of 2011-12 mainly due to its exceptional income of Rs.47 crore from sale of land at Gujarat’s Halol.

It had reported net loss of Rs 19.73 crore in the year-ago period. The company has decided to lay major emphasis on development and launch of new vehicles and products to ensure productive use of unutilised capacity and sustainable growth.

It has revitalised its research and design services by establishing a research and development centre at Uttarpara, from where the country’s oldest car Ambassador had rolled out in 1948.

The company has completed development of a 0.8 tonne pick-up, a commercial passenger carrier on Ambassador platform, a 9-10 seater passenger carrier on LCV Winner platform and an upgraded cargo version Winner from uttarpara.

“These models will be launched in the market very soon,” said Birla. The company’s Chennai plant, would witness the launch of new generation Pajero Sports Utility Vehicle, the seven seater Outlander and an upgraded Montero.

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