ANDHRA PRADESH

CITU seeks probe into BHPV takeover issue

Special Correspondent

Only ‘in principle’ approval in the minutes of Cabinet Secretariat



Union leader says he suspects Chidambaram’s role in the matter

Bid to manipulate Cabinet decision on takeover, he says



VISAKHAPATNAM: The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has urged the Central Government to order a probe into the controversy relating to the takeover of Visakhapatnam-based loss-making Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels Limited (BHPV) by the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

“I suspect that Finance Minister P. Chidambaram might be involved in the issue,” alleged CITU all-India secretary Deepankar Mukherjee. “I want to know who had put his weight in the Cabinet decision.” While the Cabinet, on Nov.26 (as per PIB press release), approved the takeover and decided that the Centre would waive and write off loans and interest for Rs.414.95 crores and also settle all outstanding liabilities of BHPV for Rs.263.97 crores, the minutes recorded by the Cabinet Secretariat mentioned only “in principle” approval.

Moreover, the extracts of the minutes mentioned that “the valuation of BHPV be carried out prudently on the basis of established principle and if the takeover is not found feasible, the matter be brought back before the Cabinet.

” How come the Cabinet’s decision could be tinkered and manipulated, he wondered, and added that someone was trying to delay the takeover move.

VSP issue

The former Rajya Sabha member charged Mr. Chidambaram with following his own agenda instead of the common minimum programme by influencing the board of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant to disinvest Rs.2,000 crores worth of its shares to generate resources for the expansion plan.

“For whom is the decision taken when the VSP is having as high as Rs.1700 crores as surplus? If at all they wanted money, they could have approached banks. They could get much more money. Disinvesting in a viable PSU is bad economics,” he said.

Mr. Mukherjee pointed out that PSUs in the country had a surplus of Rs.3,20,000 crores.

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