Pimpri: Since last six months, the employees of ailing public sector undertaking Hindustan Antibiotics Limited (HA) have not received their salaries. As a result of this, during ongoing Navaratri season, the workers are forced to face financial crisis. It has been revealed that the funds released by the Central Government have been finished. In addition to this, there is no progress on the proposal of raising funds through monetisation of excess land owned by the company as no government undertakings showed interest in purchasing 87.7 acre land even after repeatedly extending the deadline for auction.
The General Secretary of HA, Majdoor Sangh, Sunil Pataskar, said, “After government released Rs 100 crore as an urgent relief, the employees of the company were paid collective salaries for 28 months in two instalments in March and April. However, as the company could not start its production in absence of working capital, fresh income could not be generated. As a result, since last six months, over 1,000 employees were not paid salaries.”
It is a known fact that the company is trying to sell its 87.7 acre of land through auction. But even after repeated extensions to auctioning the land, no one has shown interest in purchasing the land. Only government undertakings and not private bidders are allowed to participate in the auction.
Meanwhile, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has initiated the process for reserving 52 acres of the land out of these 87.7 acres, which has increased the difficulties in this deal. The PCMC is planning to acquire this land through giving transferable development rights to the company. Therefore, scope for sale of the land has further reduced. In cases of acquisition of land by PCMC, the company will be left with no option but to raise funds through selling TDR to private builders.
The government is set to raise over Rs 1,000 crore by selling this 87.7 acre land. The sale aims at raising money to pay off the dues of the company. There is a reserve price of Rs 1,048 crore for the land, which may not be crossed as private bidders are barred from participation in the bid.
According to sources, “No bidders have shown interest in this bid, even after the extension of the deadline and the auction date being stretched to July 11.”
As per CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) directive, private bidders have been barred and institutions like City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (Cidco) or Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) are the ones who would be likely winners of the bid. But, no one has shown interest in the bid so far. The Cabinet in December had approved the sale of 87.70 acres of land of the company and mandated “that only that much surplus land of HAL as would be required to meet the liabilities (Rs 821.17 crore) be sold through open competitive bidding to government agencies and the outstanding liabilities be cleared from the sale proceeds.