Express Pharma

Cabinet okays Rs 330 crore loan to 3 pharma PSUs for clearing staff liabilities

Of the Rs 330.35 crore, Rs 158.35 crore will be utilised to clear unpaid salary and Rs 172 crore for meeting the VRS liability

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The Union Cabinet has approved loans of Rs 330.35 crore to three state-owned pharma companies to help them clear employees’ liabilities, and announced setting up of a ministerial panel to decide on the closure or sale of four PSUs. The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took the decision to provide budgetary support as loan to the tune of Rs 330.35 crore for meeting the employees’ liabilities of Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals (IDPL), Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (RDPL) and Hindustan Antibiotics (HAL).

“Budgetary support of Rs 330.35 crore would help in disbursing the unpaid salaries and providing support for VRS of employees of IDPL, RDPL and HAL. The decision would mitigate sufferings of more than 1,000 employees of these PSUs,” an official statement said.

Of the Rs 330.35 crore, Rs 158.35 crore will be utilised to clear unpaid salary and Rs 172 crore for meeting the VRS liability.

The cabinet also approved constitution of a committee of ministers for taking all decisions pertaining to closure/ strategic sale of four public sector undertakings, including the sale of assets and clearance of outstanding liabilities, it added.

“Setting up of a Committee of Ministers would expedite in process of implementation of the earlier Cabinet decision dated December 28, 2016 for closure of IDPL and RDPL and strategic sale of HAL and BCPL (Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals),” the statement said.

In 2016, the cabinet had decided to sell surplus land of HAL, IDPL, RDPL and BCPL through open competitive bidding to government agencies and clear the outstanding liabilities from the sale proceeds, it added.

“It was decided that after meeting the liabilities, IDPL and RDPL would be closed and HAL and BCPL put up for strategic sale,” the statement said.

The government said that efforts were made to sell surplus land, but it could not find buyers, despite issuing tenders more than once.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has issued revised guidelines on June 14, 2018 in respect of disposal of land of the PSUs, it added.

“As funds could not be generated through sale of surplus land, the employees in few of the PSUs (HAL and RDPL) could not be paid salaries and VRS scheme floated. As such, it was decided to dispose of the land as per revised DPE’s guidelines and seek up-front budgetary support for meeting employees’ liabilities,” the statement said.

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