The Centre’s Rs. 200 crore package for Scooters India Ltd (SIL) has come as a revival of the hopes of the ailing PSU’s employees.
With the wheels of company’s fortune set to move again, quite a few employees have decided to go on a pilgrimage and thank the Almighty for the job security they now have.
“Prior to this, workers were feeling low as they feared divestment by the government. A profit-making body till 2007, the unit became a loss-making body just because of poor management. Had the government given this package earlier, things would have been different,” said a worker on the SIL campus.
The employees were of the view that the package would surely improve the condition of the company provided the managing director Ajay Kumar took interest in the unit’s revival. At present, some private sector companies were eyeing the PSU because of its huge land bank (of 148 acres). “The plant is only on 25 acres. The rest of the land could be used for other commercial purpose,” said an employee.
“Currently, the company is at a loss of Rs. 20 crore, but this is because of the old debts. Had there been a capable management, the company could have fared well,” said another employee of the company.
However, when this correspondent contacted MD Ajay Kumar for his comment over the revival package, he refused to comment. “I am not authorised to talk to you over the issue. So I can’t entertain your comment,” was his reply on phone.
A number of employees said the company needs to have new technology. Reason: Since its establishment in 1972, the PSU had been using the old plant and machinery, which was bought as junk from an automobile company in Italy.
Similarly, the government will have to make some pro-Scooter India policy to help its revival, said Om Prakash Pandey, co-convenor of Scooters India Joint Struggle Committee.
“Currently, only Bajaj three-wheelers are allowed to ply within city limits while Vikram autos are still banned despite our CNG versions hitting the road years ack. These vehicles were banned only because they were petrol based and used to emit more pollutants. But now with the CNG versions, the ban must go.”
Another employee RA Khan said, “The company did not have money to make investment for expanding capacity. But with money in the kitty, the capacity must be expanded for increasing productivity and profits.”
“We are not getting enough material to increase production. The workforce now hopes that there would be no dearth of material and production would double,” said Pramod Singh, another employee.
Another employee CB Yadav said, “Most of the employees are over 50 years and they we re getting frustrated because their expertise was going waste now they will have an opportunity to work with vigour again.”