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BHEL is not overburdened, says CITU

The top PSU, in fact, is under-utilised because it does not get bulk orders from the Ministry of Heavy Industries and orders are often delayed, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Nov 26, 2006 18:08 IST

The Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has said that Union Ministry of Power's claims that Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is "overburdened" is an attempt by the government to sneak in MNCs in the power sector.

The top PSU, in fact, is under-utilised because it does not get bulk orders from the Ministry of Heavy Industries and orders are often delayed. Secondly, the capacity addition target has not always been assigned to BHEL, CITU said.

In a letter written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week, CITU secretary, Tapan Sen, said that the contention of the Power Ministry that BHEL is overburdened, does not tally with facts.

 Planwise Capacity Addition Target (MW)Actual (MW) 
 VI Plan 19,666 14,226
 VII Plan 22,245 21,401
 VIII Plan 30,538 16,423
 IX Plan 40,215 19,015
 X Plan 41,000 27,000 to 30,000

Sen argued that BHEL's installed manufacturing capacity since the VI Five-Year Plan had been 6000MW per year. "The capacity addition target in successive plans decided by the government have not always been wholly assigned to BHEL leading to under-utilisation of capacity of BHEL," Sen said.

In none of the plans, BHEL's installed capacity has been utilised beyond 70 per cent.

"This feature of under-utilisation of BHEL became prominent from the VIII plan period onward when the Govt became too keen on wooing foreign funded companies," Sen wrote.

Moreover, out of the Xth Plan target of 41,110 MW, BHEL received orders for only about 50 per cent (about 20,000 MW)."

This also refutes the very basis of the statement on so called 'overburdened' status of BHEL. The annual report of BHEL envisages expansion of its annual capacity to 10,000 MW per year from December 2007 in which case country's XIth Plan capacity addition programme can be adequately met by it to the tune of 50,000 MW - a target that has never been achieved so far.

Sen wrote that the Power Ministry should have involved Ministry of Heavy Industries in a serious dialogue to book bulk order on BHEL to facilitate as well as ensure time and cost-bound execution of XIth Plan target.

"I am afraid the statement of Power Ministry to involve NTPC in equipment manufacturing in collaboration with a technology partner, appears to be an open invitation to powerful MNCs in power sector to curtail BHEL's market and NTPC's core competence," the letter said.

Sen also wrote to Santosh Mohan Deb, Minister for Heavy Industries - the nodal ministry for BHEL - to take up the issue.

"I feel this is an undue interference by the Power Ministry in the functioning of a manufacturing unit under a different ministry, besides being unjust and untenable, if weighed by facts and circumstances," Sen wrote to Deb.

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First Published: Nov 26, 2006 18:08 IST