Kerala to revive two ailing state owned companies

December 7th, 2008 - 11:26 am ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 7 (IANS) Kerala is to revive two ailing state-owned companies, Steel Complex Ltd (SCL) and Kerala Soaps and Oils Limited (KSOL), both located in Kozhikode, says Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem.As a result of this revival package, all the 195 employees at SCL will retain their jobs, while 80 new jobs would be created at KSOL. KSOL has been closed down for the past seven years and at present there are no employees on the pay roll.

Kareem said SCL would be managed now by public sector Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) as a joint venture project.

“The initial understanding was signed May 3 at Kozhikode and the official agreement with SAIL would be signed here Wednesday,” Kareem told IANS.

This will be SAIL’s first venture in the state. At present, it only has a steel depot at Kochi.

SCL, set up in 1972, registered profits for just two years during 1985-87. According to the agreement, it would become a 50:50 joint venture, with SAIL pumping in funds for its modernisation and taking management control.

Currently, the state government holds 93.2 percent stake in SCL while the rest is with private individuals. SCL has liabilities in excess of a billion rupees.

“The agreement with SAIL is that the state government will see that the liabilities are cleared up and we are working towards that. We have already approached the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) for this,” said SCL managing director K.Sasikumaran.

SAIL, on its part, will invest Rs.500 million to start a new rolling mill with an annual capacity of 65,000 tonnes.

“We have asked the Kerala State Industrial Enterprises LTD. to see that KSOL is revived and we have sanctioned Rs.100 million for it. They will be setting up a soap noodle manufacturing unit there,” Kareem said.

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