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JK Cements closed for a month as liabilities cross over Rs 100 cr

Greater Kashmir 2019-03-13 03:54:00

Power connection disconnected, workers informally asked to sit at home

Presenting a sordid tale of public sector undertakings in the state, the Jammu Kashmir Cements Ltd is closed for over a month for want of capital as the liabilities of this PSU have touched over Rs 100 crore.

Despite having monopoly over supplying cement for government works in the state, JK Cements is bleeding heavy, while the private cement manufacturing factories of Kashmir are increasing their profits year after year.

A source in the industries department, which is parent organization of this PSU, informed that the liabilities have gone over Rs 100 crore, even the electricity connection of the cement manufacturing plant has been cut off as the JK Cements has failed to clear its power dues.

“Besides the pending salary of employees has touched Rs 75 crore and informally the workers have been asked to sit at home as there is no work due to non-availability of raw materials and coal,” he said adding that besides there is dearth of working capital.

“Scores of employees of this undertaking have been adjusted in other corporations or some have been posted with newly announced medical colleges,” he said.

While confirming closure of cement manufacturing plants for over a month now, the managing director of JKCL, Muhammad IshtiyakDrabu said that liabilities have touched above Rs 100 crore. 

“JK Cements is closed from over a month now.  We are grappling with a plethora of problems. Pollution Control Board has order closure of our two plants for non-compliance, further non-availability of raw materials and disconnection of power supply for failure to deposit power dues is the reasons which have lead to its closure.”

When asked about the amount of pending salary, Drabu said that the wage bills are pegged at around Rs 75 crore, apart from it the unpaid power tariff is above Rs 10 crore as a result of which power development department has disconnected power connection to the cement factory. Interestingly, in December last year, the state government asked the management of the JKCL to come up with a revival plan after its employees had hit roads demanding release of salaries.

“However, it seems that the state government wants to close this unit once for all. As they have not shown any sincerity to revival its fortunes. Private cement manufacturing units earn huge profits, while as this unit is suffering losses due to administrative failure, corruption etc,” said a senior official who was once part of JKCL when it was recording huge annual profits.

JKCL was incorporated as a fully owned government company in December 1974 with the objective to exploit the abundant deposits, make the quality cement available to the consumers at reasonable rates, besides filling up the gap between demand and supply.

The cement plant of 600 tonnes per day capacity installed at Khrew is listed as heavy sector industry which started commercial production in April 1982. The company is manufacturing OPC garage 43 and has obtained license for manufacturing Fly Ash based blended cement from Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

 The JKCL is providing employment to more than 1000 semi-skilled, skilled, specialised and super specialized people directly or indirectly. In addition to this, the company in the sale promotion of its product has engaged a good number of distributors and sub-distributors. The company plays a significant role in the development of state by providing cement for the construction of major developmental projects undertaken by the state.