Staff Reporter

Hope is still alive among stakeholders

KOCHI: The revival of Travancore Rayons Limited, Perumbavoor, remains an unattained task. Hopes of revival had reached a crescendo during the past few months, but the one-time settlement mechanism to clear the dues of the lending consortium of banks and financial institutions has not been able to steer clear of the inherent hurdles.

An understanding pertaining to the one-time settlement was reached with the IDBI, the major financing body in the consortium more than a month ago. This had been hailed as a landmark decision in the revival process. The other banks were expected to follow suit, but the individual member banks of the consortium have failed to do so. The banks are understood to be awaiting the nod from their respective governing bodies. This obviously has posed a delay in the expected final settlement towards revival.

`Not worrisome'

Under the existing scenario, the question uppermost in the minds of many of TRL workers is whether the revival will become a reality in the near future. The process to end the deadlock has been dragging on. The situation is not worrisome, according to a spokesman of the Travancore Rayons Protection Committee, a forum of representatives of trade unions, political parties and social activists.

The proposal for the revival hinges on the waiver of portion of the loans extended by the banks and there is a need for ratification at the highest level which ultimately has resulted in the delay. Though the Government is understood to have extended help to facilitate the revival, it is for the financial consortium to clear the hurdles in the repayment dues exceeding Rs.50 crores.

The Coimbatore-based NDEE Group had signed a memorandum of understanding a year ago for the takeover of the unit. The NDEE Group is planning to invest about Rs.550 crores initially, but the dues have to be cleared prior to the takeover. The Government has waived tax dues.

The trade unions, in a bid to speed up the revival, had formed a coordination committee. Ever since the unit stopped production three years ago, over 1,000 employees have been facing testing times. Lay-off was declared in the public limited company three years ago.

TRL's product, MST (moisture coated trayophane film), is biodegradable and hence preferred by foreign customers. The promoting company might be able to capitalise on this advantage. The State Government has promised interest-free deferment of electricity charges for three years from the date of commencement of operations. The lease of the existing factory land of about 73 acres will be extended for a period of 33 years, according to sources.