The operations of the Chennai plant of Wimco, which is mainly engaged in the manufacture of matches, might be closed down, ITC Chairman Y. C. Deveshwar said.

In reply to a query at a pressmeet, he said that the employees had already been separated through a voluntary retirement scheme. Pointing out that the unit had become unviable, he said “We can now utilise this land for, may be a food factory.”

The organised match-manufacturing industry is estimated at Rs. 300 crore between ITC (which markets the Mangaldeep brand) and Wimco, with the industry facing a excise-duty disadvantage, he said. The 81-year old Wimco with brands like Ship matches led the organised market in India.

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