Special Correspondent

The outstanding loan was

handed over to

Pranab Mukherjee

KOLKATA: Andrew Yule & Co Ltd (AYCL), a Government of India enterprise, has paid back the final tranche of Rs. 65.30 crore that it owed to the government, thus clearing the entire Rs. 73.80 crore that it had borrowed interest-free.

The company was referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) in 2002 in view of its persistent losses which led to the erosion of its net worth. The BIFR-sanctioned a Rs. 205-crore rehabilitation scheme along with various reliefs and concessions to be given by the State governments of West Bengal and Assam (the company owns tea gardens), banks and various departments of the Central Government. The relief package sanctioned for AYCL included a Rs. 112-crore government guarantee to bankers, writing down of government equity and conversion of Rs. 122-crore loan into equity. There were also waivers of interest and government guarantee fee.

The outstanding loan was handed over to the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee by Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister, thus squaring off the loan.