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Ordinance to take over Rayons turned down

R. Ramabhadran Pillai

State told to get Bill passed by Assembly


The unit with 1,000 staff was closed down years ago

Bill to be tabled only in the next session of Assembly


KOCHI: A move initiated by the previous LDF government last year, to get the President's nod for its decision to take over Travancore Rayons Limited, Perumbavoor, an industrial unit which had been remaining closed, has received a jolt with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs returning the government's letter. The State government wanted to take over the unit by means of an Ordinance, but the Union Home Ministry has advised the State to pass a Bill in the State legislature, according to sources.

The Ordinance was forwarded to the President through the Union government by the LDF government, further to a cabinet decision taken in June last year, as per official procedures, sources said. The Ordinance route for takeover was opted as the State Assembly was heading towards the fag end of its term, apparently to speed up the entire process of takeover.

The code of conduct was also expected to be in force in case the government wanted to conduct the elections a few months before the end of its term, which would have meant further delay in executing the proposal. Sources said the Union Home Ministry, in its letter, pointed out that there was ample time for the Assembly to pass a Bill on the matter, especially as the House had met after the nod from the President was sought.

While the uncertainty on the future of the industrial unit has failed to cease, introduction of a Bill might not be difficult as the revival of the unit is equally important to LDF and the UDF. In fact, the ‘Rayons Samrakshana Samithi', a group of trade union and political leaders which is monitoring the situation with a view to settling the crisis, consists of members of most parties including the two Fronts.

The Samithi too wants an early solution so as to resolve the problems faced by over 1,000 employees of the unit ever since the unit was closed down years ago.

A meeting of the Samithi held at Perumbavoor has taken stock of the situation. UDF convener P.P.Thankachan, and Saju Paul, MLA, KMA Salam, municipal chairman, Perumbavoor, were among the leaders who participated in the meeting. The Samithi representatives will meet the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, this week to expedite the process for introducing a Bill, Saju Paul, MLA, told The Hindu.

As the State Assembly session beginning this week will focus on the budget, the Bill is expected to be tabled only in the next session. Though the Samithi wants the government to include the takeover proposal in the 100-day programme list of the government, the chances are apparently not bright.

The government will have to approach the High Court to seek extension to the stay sanctioned to the unit on the process for winding up the unit, in connection with a pending case. An interim relief to the affected employees in the form of special advances is also being planned as a second instalment, sources said.

An advance of Rs.5,000 each was paid to the employees last year after the government decided to rope in Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation to take care of the revival issue.

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