Trains too will be blocked on May 12 in protest against Centre

Save FACT Action Committee has called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal and a 24-hour industrial strike and blockade of trains on May 12 in Ernakulam district to highlight their grievances. The committee has been leading a 190-day-old protest action seeking government intervention to save the public sector fertilizer company.

The decision to go for a hartal was taken at a meeting of the Jilla Samara Sahaya Samithi, said a press release issued by the Save FACT Action Committee here on Monday.

The press release said hartal and industrial strike were being called in protest against the failure of the Union government to come to the assistance of the fertilizer company and the failure of the government to approve a financial revival package approved by the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises.

BRPSE had approved the revival package for FACT in December last year. The recommendation was approved by the Union Finance Ministry on March 5. However, the proposals are pending approval by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. FACT employees under the Action Committee have expressed apprehensions that if the revival package was not approved within this month the company’s day-to-day operations would come to a standstill.

The Action Committee has called for a protest meeting at Udyogamandal on Tuesday.

The Centre had released Rs. 200 crore towards assistance for the company in 2008 as per the recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries as an interim measure. The committee had then recommended that a turnaround strategy be drawn up for the company.

Delitte India, which did a study of the conditions of FACT, had called for correction of some policy issues and had recommended infusion of Rs. 450 crore for meeting working capital requirements of the company. However, the money had not been sanctioned by the government, leading to the current crisis.

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