The Managing Director of the ailing Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd. (HPL), P. S. Bhattacharyya, has stepped down on personal grounds. He joined HPL in April 2011 after superannuating from Coal India Ltd. where he was chairman.
The HPL board, which met here on Tuesday, accepted the resignation and has also appointed his successor.
The meeting was chaired by West Bengal Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee, who is also HPL’s Chairman. Sumatra Chowdhury, former state transport secretary, has been named as successor. State Industry Secretary Alapan Bandhyopadhyay was also inducted into the HPL board.
Announcing the decisions, Mr. Chatterjee said that the board also discussed a business plan for getting Rs.1,000 crore credit from the banks.
“The present MD had desired to be relieved on personal grounds. So we relieved him,” he said adding that his expertise might be accessed by the state government whenever the need was felt. Purnendu Chatterjee, one of the main promoters of HPL, and Vice-Chairman, walked out of the board meet.
The Minister told journalists that he had a flight to catch. He said that the board discussed how to revive the fortunes of HPL. He said company officials had met the lenders, and a Rs.50-crore credit was lined up.
“We are trying to revive the fortunes of the company,” Mr. Chatterjee said. The directors of HPL, along with Mr. Bhattacharyya, would soon meet the lenders. “We would like to utilise Mr. Bhattacharyya’s expertise,” he added
Referring to the interest shown by two public sector companies — Indian Oil Corporation and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. — to buy into HPL, Mr. Chatterjee said that while IOC already had a stake of around 9 per cent in HPL, MRPL had recently met him evincing interest to pick up a major stake.
The West Bengal Government, through West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation, and non-resident Indian Purnendu Chatterjee through various companies of The Chatterjee Group, are now the two major promoters of HPL.