Chief Minister Rangasamy hands over Rs. 4.5 crore as grant-in-aid

Even as questions are raised about the sustainable functioning of the century-old Anglo French Textile (AFT), the mill resumed partial production on Wednesday, setting the machinery that fell silent working again, bringing much cheer among workers.

The mill had been closed since 30 December, 2011 except for a brief period, and, subsequently, the management declared lay-off of all workers as per the Industrial Dispute Act.

After customary puja and formal signal for restarting the mill by Chief Minister N. Rangasamy at the Unit A, a group of workers, who were relieved of lay-off, resumed duty.

The spinning unit at Ayyankuttipalayam also began its operations. Later, Mr. Rangasamy handed over cheque for Rs.4.5 crore as grant-in-aid to V. Bhalan, Chairman and G. Malarkannan, Managing Director of the mill so as to infuse capital requirement.

As per the announcement made by the management, as many as 283 workers, who had sought voluntary retirement, were formally relieved from the mill. They were given financial compensation to the tune of Rs. 4.15 crore in the first phase. Similarly, as many as 29 workers, who retired in 2011, were given gratuity.

Sources said that the management had arranged financial resources of about Rs.20 crore for running the mill smoothly.

It meant that there wouldn’t be much problem for at least the first half of the current financial year. It had also taken steps to sell 6 lakh meters of cloth with immediate effect to cash in on the stock.

When asked about the chances of sustainable operation of the mill, a senior official said that the composite operations of the mill would take a few more weeks. However, it had been decided to sell yarn produced from the Unit C directly to the customers instead of waiting for a long period to sell as complete finished products. Similarly, job works would be undertaken at the processing unit for quick liquidation.

He, however, added that the sale of Pattanur land was necessary for making a reasonable turnaround. It would enable the mill to meet out statutory liabilities to an extent and settle employee and worker dues.

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