Srinagar, May 06: The Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory government is holding a crucial meeting on Monday in Jammu to discuss the important issues pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir Cement Limited which is in the midst of crises over the last several years.
Official in the JK cements told news agency KINS that the Financial Commissioner, Finance Department, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta has convened a meeting in Jammu on Monday. “Yes the meeting has been called to discuss the issues of JK cements limited,” the official said.
MD also confirmed that he has been called to Jammu on Monday 18 May to attend the meeting.
The cement factory once the profitable government owned company of the Jammu and Kashmir is suffering its survival over the last several years. At present there are around 550 employees working with the Corporation and nobody has received salary since almost 13 months. The factory has an installed capacity of 1200 metric tons per day and produces 700 tons of cement on average.
Among cement-makers, J-K Cements holds the biggest mining lease in the Valley, with rights over eighty-eight hectares of limestone-rich land in Khrew. The company’s brand of cement was also well-regarded in the market, arguably more so than the private players’. But losses, which began mounting since the financial year of 2013-14, have brought the firm on the verge of bankruptcy, leaving the futures of its employees uncertain.
Already reported by the KINS, the employees had accused Corporation of inflicting miseries on their families by withholding salaries. “My pockets have dried up, and I am unable to make both ends meet. The coldhearted response of authorities is taking a toll on our families,” the employees of the Corporation had said.
They had lamented that they were unable to pay off their debts as their savings have exhausted. “Some of us even sold the jewelry of our wives to run their families. Others have got into debt,”
The Corporation has accumulated heavy loses over the last five-seven years and that is the reason behind its inability to release salaries. The Corporation was a profit making till the financial year 2012-13.
However, the loss suffered by the Corporation, a top official said, is mainly due to the mismanagement. “It is a golden mine. The reason behind its downfall is official apathy,” an official said.
The insiders of the corporation had appealed LG GC Murmu to intervene into the matter as early as possible so that hundreds of families are not adversely affected.
JKCL has a monopoly on sale and supply of cement to government funded projects and departments. As per government orders, the state agencies have to give first preference to JKCL for purchase of cement.
It is to mention here that the Advisor KK Sharma in Board meeting had said that Government was working on a mechanism to ensure that the JK Cements which was once one of the premier public sector enterprises would regain its glory.
The Advisor had directed the officers of JKCL to come up with a prospective and holistic plan to ensure better utilisation of human resource besides ensuring diversification of activities and better marketing of the cement produce at local and national level.
He had said that the PSUs should come up with proposals that should in clear terms specify how they are going to finance their future activities.
Managing Director Ishtiyaq Drabu had admitted that the 13 months’ salary of employees was pending. “We have released their one month salary. We have submitted 50 crore revival proposal to the government which is under active consideration,” the MD had told KINS and added that the corporation has also recommended 4 months’ salary in the revival plan.(KINS)