Communist Party of India (Marxist) Rajya Sabha member, Tapan Sen has asked Prime Minister Manmonah Singh to take immediate action to put an end to the maligning of the public sector companies by the Planning Commission and demanded the immediate withdrawal of a report that had criticised the quality of power equipment produced by State-run Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL).
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Sen said the issues raised by him should be crossed-checked by the Prime Minister and immediate steps should be taken to put an end to maligning of BHEL by the Planning Commission.
"The situation needs to be remedied by appropriate action like clear-cut direction for withdrawal of such report through public statement and a clear undertaking to chairman Planning Commission for refraining from such type of activities in future," he said in a letter to Dr. Singh.
In his letter, Mr. Sen states, "I understand a report has been prepared and made public by Planning Commission, alleging that the performance of Chinese equipment is better than that of the BHEL. The report also commented on BHEL's alleged failure and incompetence in timely execution/commissioning of power plants under various contracts. The report is shocking, besides being ill-intentioned, as it reflects deliberate maligning and tarnishing the image of a Navaratna company owned by the Union Government in public, by an authority appointed by the same government," he said.
Mr. Sen said this amounts to disowning as well as ditching government-owned company by the owner itself. "I fail to understand as to what and whose interest is served by such maligning of a public sector Navaratna company, which has to operate and deliver to the nation in a stiffly competitive market. What may be the urgency to favour the foreign competitor over BHEL by way of such public certification of their superiority? The matter needs a clarification," the letter stated.
He said, according to his information, the allegations hurled against BHEL in the Planning Commission's report are not correct. So far, as the allegation of delay in executing projects is concerned, the facts on the ground reveals that in 75 per cent of the projects in which BHEL is associated, BHEL's obligation is limited to boiler, turbine and generator which accounts for 40 to 45 per cent of the total work of the project. Rest of the activities of the project pertains to Balance of Plant (BoP) like electrical, coal handling, ash handling and water systems. In almost all those projects, delay in commissioning, wherever it occurred, had been due to delay in the rest of the activities for which, BHEL, in no way, could be held responsible.
He also said, as far as comparative quality and competing capability between BHEL and it’s other rivals are concerned, the Planning Commissions allegation does not stand.
He pointed out that the matter needs to be looked into comprehensively. For example, some of the Chinese companies got contracts committing faster delivery, but in the final analysis, things were quite different. "The independent analysis carried out on 40 power plants commissioned in the last two years, reveals that BHEL deliveries are in no way inferior to those of Chinese. It has also been revealed by similar studies that secondary fuel oil (SFO) consumption of Chinese sets is 12 times more than in BHEL sets. Other independent International analysts echo the same sentiment about the superiority of BHEL equipments," he remarked.