19 November Tuesday
Efforts to save Hindustan Paper Ltd is underway

Govt Braces Up Against Sale of Public Sector Units In Kerala

Web Desk‌Updated: Friday Nov 8, 2019
Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala has repeatedly notified its protest to the Centre , against privatisation and strategic disinvestment of public sector undertakings(PSU) in the state, said Minister for Public Works G Sudhakaran. The Minister was seeking attention to government's endeavour, fielding a question from C Divakaran.

The state has urged Centre multiple times to refrain from shelving out govt shares to private players, he said.

In this regard, the Assembly passed  a unanimous resolution opposing sale of Hindustan Paper Ltd and similar state-owned firms. All-party meetings were also held to discuss the matter. Efforts to block sale of Hindustan Newsprint is currently underway, he added.

To prevent privatization, Govt has decided to take over Instrumentation Ltd  However Centre's demand for land-cost on which the unit sits is a snag. The land was originally given free-of-cost by the state govt, for setting up the company.

In the same vein, when Centre attempted to sell its share in  BHEL Electrical Machine Ltd - a joint venture between Kerala Electrical and Allied Ltd and Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd(BHEL), the state govt stepped in and decided its take-over.

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport sits on 635 acre of prime property. This includes 258.06 acre donated during the reign of Travancore king, 8.29 acre of govt estate and 32.56 acre from land acquisition, the minister said.

Kerala govt seeks to protect the aforesaid  PSUs from sale or disinvestment. As a step in the direction, the govt as per notification dated 29.07.2019,  set up  a Monitoring Cell in the  Revenue Commissionerate. The cell is tasked  with preparing a detailed  report on properties  held by PSUs in the state, comprising land released by the govt either  free-of-cost or on conditional terms. The govt might also consider recalling unused land lying with these establishments.

The state govt is strictly opposed to  Centre handing over public establishments and its land to private players. The administration will do all in its powers to protect interests of the state and its public sector establishments, said G Sudhakaran in a reply on behalf of the Chief Minister.