Staff downsizing begins, 30 outlets to be shut down
IS ONE of the biggest State Government’s corporations – the Uttar Pradesh Handloom Corporation Ltd — heading for closure? Reasons: Efforts to downsize manpower have already begun along with plans to shut down over two-dozen showrooms of the corporations. All this was being done at a time when the corporation was following the earlier sanctioned revival process.
While process to cut down the strength of the employees was completed in the first phase under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) last month itself, another list of the 60 employees has been sent with recommendation of Voluntary Retirement Scheme to them.
Further cementing the fact that the corporation was heading towards closure is the plan to shut down about 30 out of the 175 showrooms incurring huge losses. Talking to Hindustan Times, director of the UPHCL Chandrika Prasad Tiwari corroborating the plans said that decision in this regards would likely be taken within a month.
Advocating downsizing of manpower, Tiwari said that to cut down the continuing financial losses it became necessary to go for manpower retrenchment along with losses incurring infrastructure of the Corporation.
To a question, he admitted that working capital worth Rs 10 core provided to the Corporation by the State Government could not be utilized properly.
Reasons, he said, was, purchase of items on excess cost and purchase of improper items. Besides, direct interference of the government in the administrative activities also affected the smooth governance of the UPHCL, Tiwari said. The government interference hardly gave any tooth to independent decisions of the Uttar Pradesh Handloom Corporation Ltd management.
According to sources, continuing financial losses in the Corporation could be owed to rampant mismanagement in UPHCL governance.
The sources said that mismanagement had surfaced even during the implementation of the revival scheme under the Deen Dyal Hathkargha Protsahan Yojna initiated in 2002.
However, hardly any effective steps were initiated to check the alleged mismanagement, claimed general secretary of the UPHCL Employees Association PC Bhanti.
Instead of taking timely action against the guilty officials, the top authorities preferred to downsize the UPHCL, alleged Bhanti.
It is worth mentioning that UPHCL was established with a prime aim to extend the financial and technical support to weaver’s community residing in large numbers in the state. The aim was to provide required raw material and latest technical development in field of weaving through conducting training to them. Besides, provide best market to their products .
The Uttar Pradesh Handloom Corporation Ltd which was established with an aim to provide financial and technical support to weavers’ community of the State was allowed to spread its wing all over country with 175 showrooms in all major cities along with about 10 project centres located in area have fair number of weaver’s presence.
Unfortunately, no project centre is operative. The situation is no good when it comes to showrooms as at present only 96 showrooms were running.
Trouble for the corporation actually began when the State Government withdrew 20 per cent subsidy and was asked to generate its own resources. It was after this that cases of corruption surfaced however, no action was taken alleged leaders of the Uttar Pradesh Handloom Corporation Ltd Employees Union.