The Bharat Earth Movers Employees’ Association (BEMEA) met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi earlier this month and sought priority for the Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), a public sector undertaking, during the procurement of defence equipment and other components.
Addressing a press conference in Mysuru, president and general secretary of of BEMEA, Mysuru complex, Govind Reddy and Nagashayana respectively said the office bearers of BEMEA along with Kolar MP S. Muniswamy met Mr. Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on August 2 and urged the Centre to drop the proposal of disinvestment through strategic sale that had been cleared by the Union Cabinet.
The BEMEA office-bearers have claimed that the Defence Minister, while acknowledging that BEML was a profit-making PSU, had assured them that the Centre will not carry out its strategic sale. Mr. Singh also promised to procure defence equipment and other critical components from BEML in consultation with the Defence Secretary, claimed the office bearers of BEMEA Mysuru complex here on Tuesday.
In the memorandum submitted to Mr. Singh, the BEMEA said that BEML, which has manufacturing units in Mysuru, Bengaluru and KGF in Karnataka and Palakkad in Kerala, had recorded its highest-ever revenue of ₹4,143 crore during 2021-22 with a growth of around 16 per cent over the previous year and a profit before tax of around ₹216 crore. “We have booked orders worth approximately ₹ 10,000 crore”, the statement said.
Soon after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) took a decision on the strategic sale of BEML in October 2016, the BEMEA met the then Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar and then Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananthkumar and submitted a memorandum against the government’s decision, explaining that BEML was not only a profit-making defence PSU but also strong competitor to the multinational companies and Indian corporates in mining, construction and Metro., ““thus a barrier to monopolisation of private players in the market.”, the memorandum added.
BEML, which employed around 4,500 employees and 2,150 executives, besides 5,000 contract labourers, has huge land and assets spread across 3,500 acres with plant and machinery. BEML has its own world class composite R and D establishment for design and development of products. “More than 69 per cent of the company’s sales turnover is through in-house developed R&D products. R&D expenditure is 2.8 per cent of the turnover”, the memorandum added.
Listing some of the major achievements of the PSU, the memorandum said BEML had indigenously designed, developed and supplied the nation’s first Stainless Steel Electrical Multiple Unit (SSEMU) to Indian Railways for suburban commuting, India’s first intermediate Metro car for Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, first state-of-the-art six-car trainto Kolkata Metro and first driverless Metro car to MMRDA.