The PSU should get preference in power equipment orders

Hit by recessionary conditions and dwindling orders, fabrication units of Tiruchi are drawing up a wish list for the new government at the Centre.

The industry hopes that the new government would come to their rescue by giving a boost to the power sector and provide preference in placing orders for power plant equipment to the public sector major, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, on whose well being hinges the fate of the ancillary units in Tiruchi.

“The BHEL unit in Tiruchi was started with a vision of fostering the economy and generating employment in the region.

“Down the years, about 350 ancillary units had come up to supply components to the BHEL and a majority of them are dependent on power sector major for their survival,” said Rajappa Rajkumar, vice-president, Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association.

Mr. Rajkumar said the ancillary units had been hit hard by various factors, including diversion of orders of BHEL, Tiruchi, to other units of the public sector major in the country. When adequate capacity had been created here at an investment of over Rs. 2,000 crore, ancillaries here should be given preference in loading orders.

The fabrication units in Tiruchi had been working only at 25 to 30 per cent of their capacity. Many units were not even able to break even. Considering the dedicated relationship between the BHEL, Tiruchi, and the ancillaries for more than four decades, orders should be loaded only on the 375 ancillaries here, he said.

“What we are basically expecting is a boost to the power sector and some kind of preference to the BHEL. Second, BHEL, Tiruchi, should upload orders to the local ancillaries and other units of the public sector major should go in for manufacture of new products,” S. Srinivasan, president, BHEL Small Industries Association.

In recent years, the small scale fabrication units had been forced to compete with medium and large industries as the BHEL adopted the “away centre fabrication” model.

The Heavy Industries Ministry should come up with steps to safeguard the interests of the small industries here, he said.