While majority of industrial and tourism units of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) have been witnessing huge losses, the sale depot seems to have gone whole hog in recovery mode and thus emerging as the lone saving grace for the corporation.
The sale depot distributes iron and steel material to small-scale industrial units. Though the depot too saw itself in the red for over eight years, its new sale policy, which is said to be market friendly, seems to have turned the tide.
Within a month of formation of the sale policy, CITCO has bagged an advance booking of sale of over one lakh-tonne material worth around Rs. 400 crore, which is many times more than the sale figures of previous years.
After registering considerable growth between 2000 and 2004, the sale depot, which is the first unit of the cooperation, witnessed a steep decline in the earning. In 2004-05, CITCO recorded sale of more than 1.33-lakh tonne, which came down to around 71,000 tonne in 2006-07.
A sharp decline in the sale was recorded in subsequent years. In the last fiscal year, CITCO sold mere 22,947 tonne of material to the small-scale industrial (SSI) units, fetching around Rs. 104 crore as return.
After receiving numerous representations from SSI units for reviewing the sale policy over the years, the management of CITCO constituted a committee for formulisation of new sale policy, which came into being in the last week of March.
Within a few days after the new policy was launched, the industrialists who had shifted to other buyers, returned to CITCO for procurement of material.
General manager (sales) AK Malhotra maintained that the new policy was formulated after taking into account the requirement and demands of SSI units and other users. The sale policy had been broad, based on incentive tuned to the same level as being offered by main steel producers in a competitive environment, thus resulting in a higher turnover and profits.
“The turnover in the last 15 days is more than figures of the last quarter and we hope to have highest turnover with the support of SSI units and Steel Authority of India (SAIL),” Malhotra said.
Industry Association of Chandigarh (IAC) president Arun Kumar Mahajan, who was also member of the committee set up for the formulation of new sale policy, said the old policy led to the downfall of the sale as it was not industry friendly.
“The industrialists shifted to other buyers as they were not getting benefits from CITCO,” Mahajan said.
A city-based industrialist, Rakesh Mittal, had snapped his over two-decade-old association with CITCO a few years ago. However, the favourable new sale policy made his again forge new deal with CITCO for procuring material.
“The industrialists were not happy with the old sale policy. They had to face harassment at the hands of auditors and other staff of CITCO,” said Mittal, who rued that the management took so much time in reviewing the policy.
2006-07: 68,800 MT
2007-08: 67,061 MT
2008-09: 54,836 MT
2009-10: 47,881 MT
2010-11: 49,892 MT
2011-12: 39,556 MT
2012-13: 22,947 MT
2013-14: over 1 lakh MT (including advance booking)
(MT is metric tonne)