Work on the much-delayed Rs 80-crore hand tool industrial cluster project might finally be started, after two directors of the company formed to execute the project, agreed to deposit Rs 6 crore, the remaining part of their share, by Thursday.
“State industry minister Anil Joshi convened a meeting in Chandigarh in which he asked us (the two directors) to deposit Rs 6.05 crore by and Thursday and we agreed to the demand,” said Suresh Sharma, one of the directors.
However, he claimed that the minister's demand for depositing Rs 12 crore in one stash was unjustified as the industry's share had to be deposited in accordance with the progress of the project.
“If we had not paid, the cluster was in danger of being converted into a private limited company with its control in the hands of a few industrialists,” Sharma added.
He claimed that the minister has been requested to hold an open house house of the industry to invite suggestions from all stakeholders.
On April 5, Joshi had issued an ultimatum to the hand tool industry to submit its share of Rs 12 crore.
Taking a final call, a meeting was called by minister on May 21, in which five industrialists including, two directors Jyoti Parkash and Gian Bhandari and three former directors Gautam Kapoor, Jasjeet Singh and Sukhdev Raj, deposited Rs 6.05 crore (Rs 1.21 crore each) for the project.
As the other directors, Suresh Sharma and MK Bhandari have agreed to deposit the remaining share, the board of directors of the company is set to give final shape to the cluster.
“The government should not allow the cluster to be run as a private limited company with control in the handful of directors. It should involve more industrialists,” a leading hand tool manufacturer Vipan Mahajan said.
In 2010, the department of industrial policy & promotion had sanctioned a hand tool cluster, comprising a common facility centre for technological development worth Rs 79.49 crore. Under the terms and conditions, 75% (Rs 58.28 crore) of the cost was to be given by centre, 10% (Rs 9 crore) by the state government and 15% (Rs 12.21 crore) was to be contributed by the cluster's industrial members.