Special Correspondent

PM wants it completed in 10 days

CPI(M) team took up the issue with Manmohan

Employees elated over ‘takeover’ reports

VISAKHAPATNAM: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directed the Heavy Industries Ministry to complete the process of merging the Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels with the BHEL within 10 days, after a CPI(M) delegation met him in New Delhi on Monday and requested him to implement a promise he had made in the past in this regard.

The CPI (M) delegation consisted of Polit Bureau member and MP Sitaram Yechury, MP Tapan Sen, CIPU general secretary M.K. Padhe and others.

When he was reminded of the issue of BHPV-BHEL merger, Dr. Manmohan Singh immediately issued instructions to Heavy Industries Minister Santosh Mohan Deb to complete the merger process within 10 days, according to a press release from CITU district committee president S. Jyoteeswara Rao.

New pay package

The Central Government would stand guarantee for loans to a tune of Rs. 250 crores from the banks and the BHEL would take over the BHPV with new pay package for employees.

The CPI (M) delegation also requested the Prime Minister that the Centre should pay all the loans of BHPV.

The district CITU thanked Mr. Yechuri, Mr. Sen and Mr. Padhe for pursuing the BHPV’s cause with the Centre. Reports on imminent take-over of BHPV led to celebrations among the employees of the sick public sector unit.

On receipt of reports that Managing Director Om Prakash received a fax that a function was scheduled in the city on May 10 to unveil the take-over by Union Minister for Heavy Industries Santosh Mohan Dev, hundreds of employees rushed to the administrative building.

Later, Mr. Om Prakash held a meeting separately with the staff and management cadre officers.

When contacted, he told The Hindu that there was no official confirmation from the ministry. However, he said: “Things are moving positively.”

Delay

Though the proposal was cleared in November 2007 by the Union Cabinet, some problem or the other had delayed the take-over by BHEL. Now, there is a problem with regard to bonds and counter-guarantee sought by BHEL for making BHPV a debt-free company before making it a holding company.