The West Bengal Government has asked the Ruia group chief Pawan Kumar Ruia to meet the state government to make clear his intentions on Dunlop India Ltd (DIL).

This was stated by State Labour Minister Purnendu Bose on a day when three officials of the DIL met him at his chamber in the State Secretariat. “We want to meet Mr. Ruia as only he can tell us what his intentions are about reviving the Sahagunj unit,” he told this correspondent later.

The Minister who visited the mother unit at Sahagunj in Hooghly district on Saturday said that he was appalled to see that huge and age-old structures at the sprawling factory premises have been demolished. “This included a primary school, a hospital, a club and even some machinery,” he said pointing out that the company had alleged that these had housed illegal occupants.

“We do not support this action,” he said adding that the team led by him and comprising representatives of the majority CITU union, and the local MLA and the MP also heard the workers' grievances at the plant site.

Mr. Bose said that the government was of the view that the company had not honoured the 2006 agreement that it had signed with the workers. “We have been told that people who had availed an early retirement scheme had not received their dues and even those retiring normally thereafter had not got their dues”.

He said the government would like Mr. Ruia to come out with a clear revival plan for the Sahagunj unit with a detailed project report outlining the proposed investments. “I have briefed the Industry Minister and Mr. Ruia can meet him also. But they only seem to be interested in getting concessions and reliefs”. When contacted by this correspondent, official spokesman for Dunlop said that the reliefs and concessions being mentioned included a Rs.5-crore municipal tax due which was awarded ex-parte and was now being contested legally by the company.

He also said that the company was not in a position to make any fresh investments unless theft, now going on at the plant, was stopped. Mr. Ruia was willing to meet the government at any mutually convenient time and venue, he added.