After a relentless struggle, the employees of Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels (BHPV), who are now under the payroll of Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) are seething with anger over fixation of scales.

Theirs hopes of better days post-merger have not fructified with immediate effect as the employees have been taken at two grades below the position they were holding – precisely to deny them a very big jump in pay and perquisites.

Reliable sources told The Hindu that due to pressure from majority of 1100-odd employees, the BHEL management had agreed to set up a committee under the chairmanship of the Director (HR) to look into apprehensions over fitment benefits and scale fixation.

Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BFIR) approved the Draft Rehabilitation Scheme in July, clearing the process of the merger. BHPV was referred to BIFR in 2004.

BHPV was made a subsidiary of BHEL on May 10, 2008, after an emphatic promise by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the city that it would be merged with BHEL.

As BHPV becomes the 17 unit of BHEL, it has been named as Heavy Plates & Vessels Plant (HPVP).

The city-based plant clocked a turnover of Rs.243.62 crore last year and BHEL officials exude the confidence that the profit margins of the unit would rise significantly after it became part of the Maharatna company.

BHEL Chairman B.P. Rao, in a message to the employees said “It’s a momentous occasion for BHPV, which as HPVP, Visakhapatnam, has now become the 17 manufacturing unit of BHEL.

More than 1000 employees of BHPV and their families are now proud members of BHEL family.” Reminding the employees on the difficult phase being faced by the economy, he said: “You must have however been keeping track of the issues presently being faced by the economy in all segments, particularly in power sector.

The subdued business environment during the last 2 years has impacted orders inflow and there are growing concerns about full utilisation of BHEL’s manufacturing capacity of 20,000 MW Power Equipment per annum.”

Mr. Rao said the objective of takeover of BHPV by BHEL of expanding BHEL’s portfolio into process industries through the strength BHPV has in these areas needs to be fully realised in addition to strengthening HPVP unit in areas where it can.

Pledging full support for improved productivity, BHPV National Employees’ Union general secretary V. Babu Rao said: “We hope the committee will complete pay fixation reasonably as fast as possible to keep our morale high.”

Keywords: BHELBHPVmergerBIFR