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HPF on path of recovery

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Proud achievement: The all India president of CITU, M.K. Pandhe, addressing a meeting at the Hindustan Photo Films near Udhagamandalam on Friday. –
Proud achievement: The all India president of CITU, M.K. Pandhe, addressing a meeting at the Hindustan Photo Films near Udhagamandalam on Friday. –

Special Correspondent

Target set has been achieved

Revival plan likely to be approved by Cabinet

Banks have agreed to accept Rs. 200 crore

Udhagamandalam: The ailing Hindustan Photo Films (HPF) has been put on the road to recovery, the Chairman cum Managing Director of the company, P. Jagadeeswaran, told reporters here on Friday.

Notwithstanding various constraints, targets set in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the HPF and the Department of Heavy Industries for 2007-2008 have been achieved.

Pointing out that such an MoU had been signed after a gap of 15 years, he said that against a production target of Rs. 18 crore the achievement was Rs. 18.26 crore.

In sales the achievement was Rs. 17.25 crore against a target of Rs. 17 crore, an 18 per cent increase over 2006-2007. The company has recently bagged a rate contract from the Director General of Supplies and Disposals and got an order worth Rs. 1 crore from the Armed Forces Medical Supplies depot.

X-ray films

The requirements vis a vis Medical X-ray films of the governments of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan would be met by HPF.

All these measures would help the company reach production and sales targets in the region of Rs. 30 crore during the current fiscal, he said. The response of the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises to a report regarding the future of the company submitted by a consultant Ernst and Young was awaited.

A note based on the report was likely to be put up soon to the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises. Expressing the hope that the revival plan would be approved by the cabinet, he dismissed speculation regarding the handing over of the company to the Tamil Nadu Government or converting it into a joint venture unit.

To a query, Mr. Jagadeeswaran said that such alternatives were only considered at a meeting. It is now a public sector undertaking and hopefully it will continue to be so. In the revival plan a Rs. 302 crore has been sought.

Though the outstanding, including interest, were about Rs. 5,000 crore, the banks had agreed to accept Rs. 200 crore. The balance would be used for production, salary.

Digital technology

As regards the threat from digital technology, he said that films will continue to be in demand for at least another 10 years. Preliminary work on manufacturing products like IV fluids, colour paper and red scanner films has commenced. The number of employees now was 800. It will go down further. The ideal workforce for the company would be 700.

The services of a few more can be used. If the revival plan was approved, the pay scale would be revised. The CITU national president, M.K. Pandhe, and general secretary Mohammed Amin held discussions with Mr. Jagadeeswaran on Friday.

Later, Mr. Pandhe addressed a gate meeting. Expressing gratification over the unity displayed by all the unions in HPF, he promised that its cause would be espoused in New Delhi. Opining that the company should be treated as a pride of India, he said that the Union Government should take more interest in it. Its potential should be fully tapped.

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