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Wednesday, Apr 03, 2002

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Workers urge Govt to rescue crisis-ridden TCC

Our Bureau

KOCHI, April 2

WORKERS of the ailing Kerala PSU, Travancore Cochin Chemicals (TCC), have sent an SOS to the State Government to come out with a revival package to save the company from the financial crisis it is in.

The losses of TCC, the only PSU in India producing caustic soda, have touched Rs 52.78 crore as per the latest balance sheet. The company had registered profits till 1997.

The measures in the package include conversion of lease rent and service charges into Government equity, complete restructuring and providing concessional rate for power till 2003, the date of implementation of the captive Bharapole Hydel Project.

The members of the Save TCC Action Council cited several reasons for the company's dismal performance, such as industrial recession, increase in power tariffs in Kerala and closing down of user industries such as Travancore Rayon.

The Action Council Convener, Mr P.S. Gangadharan, told newspersons that the hike in power tariffs and power cut during 1997-98 had affected the production of the company.

As against Rs 1.05 per unit of power, the company was now paying Rs 3.03 per unit.

To produce one tonne, around 3,200 units are required. As a result, of the total cost of production of Rs 15,000 per tonne of caustic soda, Rs 10,000 went towards power cost.

Though the company had submitted a revival package before the earlier LDF Government, nothing had materialised so far.The Action Council also pointed out that the Tamil Nadu Government had imposed 15 per cent entry tax on TCC products and the Kerala Government should follow suit.

It has also been decided to conduct a high-level conference of workers and their families on April 5 to press the Government to initiate suitable and viable steps for the revival of the company, the Action Council leaders said.

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