BHPV revival plans yet to take shape

VISAKHAPATNAM: Even after inclusion of reviving sick public sector units in the common minimum programme of the United Progressive Alliance Government, uncertainty still dogs the future of Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels (BHPV) Limited.

Despite a DO letter dated November 4, 2004, by the Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, V. Santosh Mohan Dev, to his counterpart in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mani Shankar Aiyer, to fill the order book of BHPV, the sick public sector is yet to get any orders from the oil majors.

Orders awaited

Mr. Dev made it very clear that out of the various works taken up by HPCL's two refineries at Mumbai and Vizag amounting to Rs.2,800 crores, contracts to the tune of Rs.400 crores pertaining to heat exchanger and green fuel projects could be given to BHPV.

Reliable sources told The Hindu that despite quoting the lowest amount for boiler work order worth Rs.45 crores, BHPV is yet to get the letter of intent from Visakh Refinery. Similarly, the sources said, the price bid of BHPV for the mounded bullets work order worth Rs.70 crores from Mumbai Refinery is left for consideration after finalising the technical bid.

Reasons for delay

Ironically, the preliminary work on the latest revival plan by S.B. Billimoria and Company has started just a few days ago mainly due to the callous attitude of the BHPV management. The reason: delay in payment of dues worth over Rs.4 lakhs to Billimoria towards the consultation on the joint venture plan. The then National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government had engaged Billimoria four years ago for finding a joint venture partner. Another reason, according to the CITU-affiliated BHPV Union general secretary, S. Jyotiswara Rao, was delay in furnishing information sought by the consultant for taking up revival study.

After completing the study by Billimoria, the recommendation has to be approved by the BHPV Board and referred to the Ministry of Heavy Industries.

Later, the Ministry will submit it to the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises. Once the board clears it, the report will be placed before the Union Cabinet after obtaining go-ahead signal from the Ministry of Finance.

`Appoint MD'

``Owing to this cumbersome process, the authorities concerned should appoint a regular Managing Director and place some orders for the plant immediately and take all steps to expedite clearance for revival plan in a time-bound manner,'' the CPI(M) State secretariat member, Ch. Narsinga Rao, said.

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