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Government to convene yet another meeting on revival of Travancore Rayons

R. Ramabhadran Pillai

To thrash out one-time settlement of dues incurred; NDEE group to invest Rs. 550 crore


  • Meeting to be held next month
  • Promoter awaiting final clearance
  • Trade unions have formed coordination committee

    KOCHI: The Government will convene a meeting to chalk out the revival of Travancore Rayons Limited, Perumbavoor, soon. The meeting will be yet another effort to thrash out a one-time settlement of dues that the company has incurred in the past.

    Though the company had apprised the Government of the response from banks and financiers involved in the revival plan, a meeting of officials, the new partner and representatives of the banks had to be deferred owing to the local body polls. The meeting will now be held next month, company officials said.

    A little more push from the Government will be able to advance the process and clinch the final deal, a top executive of the company said. In a rare case of unanimity, the employees, trade unions, the Government and the Opposition have expressed full support for the revival plan. The new promoter, Coimbatore-based NDEE Group, is awaiting final clearance from the Government and the financial groups.

    The negotiations on the one-time settlement with the banks have evoked positive response, officials said. As the rules and regulations pertaining to the financial sector are still evolving, there is scope for a favourable settlement, a top official of the company said.

    The Coimbatore-based NDEE Group had signed a memorandum of understanding in July last year for takeover of the unit. The NDEE Group intends to invest Rs.550 crores initially, but the dues have to be cleared before the takeover. A consortium of banks and financial institutions is involved in the one-time settlement of the dues, amounting to Rs. 59 crores. While the company's accrued loss is about Rs.130 crores, the Government has waived tax dues. The NDEE Group had sought Central Excise concessions also.

    The trade unions of CITU, AITUC, INTUC and BMS have formed a coordination committee to facilitate a smooth revival. Ever since the unit stopped production three years ago, the employees numbering over 1,000 have been going through difficult times.

    Lay-off was declared in the public limited company three years ago. Non-upgradation of machinery is said to be one of the prime reasons behind the current plight of the company. The existing machinery was installed in the Fifties, but the NDEE Group is keen on installing new machinery. TRL's advantage is that its product, MST (moisture-coated trayophane film), is biodegradable and hence, preferred by foreign customers, a company official said.

    The State Government has promised interest-free deferment of electricity charges for three years from the date of commencement of operations. The lease on the existing factory land of about 73 acres will be extended for a period of 33 years. There will be interest-free deferment of sales tax dues for eight years.

    Despite the hope of revival, a few UDF leaders have alleged that the local leadership in Perumbavoor has not taken adequate interest in the issue. UDF convener P.P. Thankachan has alleged that the issue is not being pursued vigorously by the LDF leaders at the local level, which the latter has denied.

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