By Express News Service
KASARAGOD: Nearly three months after chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated KEL-Electrical Machines Limited (KEL-EML) after taking it over from the Union authorities, the machines of the unit in Kasaragod are nonetheless silent.
The unit acquired orders price Rs 74 lakh to make 5 160 kV alternators — mills that convert mechanical power to electrical power — diesel mills and spares. “But neither do we have enough raw material nor working machines to manufacture them,” stated Ragesh Kumar, an worker and chief of INTUC, the Congress-affiliated commerce union.
In a overview assembly chaired by minister for industries P Rajeev on June 2, principal secretary P M Mohammed Hanish stated 40% of the entire 120 workers haven’t any job within the unit. Today, the corporate has solely 99 workers. “And almost all of them are sitting idle. We come in the morning and leave in the evening. If this is how they are planning to run the unit, it will shut shop soon,” stated Kumar.
In November, the unit gave its laptop numerical management (CNC), which controls complicated machines comparable to lathes, and vertical turning machines for upkeep. “Eight months on, the important machines are still under repair,” stated V Pavitharan, one other worker and vice-president of INTUC within the unit.
First of all, the federal government ought to have centered on appointing an ready managing director, who would steer the manufacturing unit out of the difficulty, and second, present working capital to the unit.
In the assembly held in Thiruvananthapuram, the managing director of Kerala Electrical & Allied Engineering Co. Ltd (KEL) Col (retired) Shaji Varghese stated a full-time director or a managing director ought to be appointed at its subsidiary KEL-EML. The stakeholders agreed to nominate a senior worker of KEL because the unit head in Kasaragod.
No one ought to sit idle: Minister
Responding to industries division principal secretary Hanish, minister Rajeeve stated no worker ought to be allowed to sit down idle.
According to the minutes of the assembly, the minister referred to as for rationalising the staff primarily based on manufacturing. “Employees’ salaries should come from the factory’s profit,” he stated and instructed his officers that the unit ought to be “working in full capacity by July-August”.
When contacted, Varghese stated a brand new unit would take time to run at full capability and stated it was anticipating new orders from the Railways. The stakeholders additionally agreed to nominate an MBA graduate with experience in advertising and marketing to search out new shoppers and marketplace for KEL-EML’s merchandise.
In his report introduced on the assembly, KEL MD Varghese stated KEL-EML was more likely to finish FY2022 with a turnaround of Rs 12.32 crore. Public Sector Restructuring and Internal Audit Board (RIAB) chairman Ashok R requested KEL-EML to furnish particulars of orders the unit was anticipated to win.
As really helpful by RIAB, the chief minister introduced a Rs 77-crore revival package deal for KEL-EML after its takeover, and sanctioned Rs 20 crore on April 1, when he inaugurated the unit.
Varghese stated many of the Rs 20 crore was spent on clearing the liabilities of the staff.
Employees of the federal government cleared the wage dues until March 2020. From March 2020 to April 2022, when the unit remained shut first due to covid lockdown after which for lack of working capital or work order, the federal government agreed to pay 35% of the wage. “The decision to pay only 35% of the salaries was forced on employees and yet the management has not released the amount,” stated Ragesh Kumar. The administration has additionally withheld 10% of gratuity and wage dues of retired workers, he stated.
Of the Rs 20 crore, round Rs 6.5 crore was spent on clearing dues of the staff, Rs 2.5 crore was spent on bettering the infrastructure and round 3.25 crore was spent on clearing dues of the shoppers, stated an official. “Around 8 crore has not been spent yet,” he stated.
When contacted, Varghese didn’t share the small print of the fund utilization however stated: “To the best of my knowledge (there is) no unspent amount”.
Employees stated the federal government hard-bargained with shoppers and repaid solely a portion of what was owed to them as a one-time settlement. “But we have to depend on the same clients. Now they are demanding cash in advance before delivering raw material,” stated one other worker.