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Wednesday, Apr 03, 2002

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TUs press for speedy revival of Trayons

G.K. Nair

Trayons was declared sick in 1986 by BIFR, and the State Government has been playing the role of promoter since 1989. The company's accumulated losses have crossed Rs 100 crore by now.

KOCHI, April 2

TRADE unions at the ailing Travancore Rayons Ltd (Trayons) at nearby Perumbavoor have unanimously urged the State Government to speed up the processing of the revival package presented by a Coimbatore-based entrepreneur.

They also said that the internecine fighting within the ruling parties should not cast its shadow over the proposal.

Some Congress leaders had openly opposed the proposal and this kind of approach was not going to help the State in any way, they added.

The company has been sick for over a decade and it is only now that a promoter has come forward to rehabilitate it.

The proposal should be accepted by acceding to the concessions demanded by the promoter wherever possible "as it relates to the survival of about 1,400 workers and thousands of others who are indirectly depending on this unit'', the trade unions said.

Industry department sources said that the Government had taken a positive approach and would be holding discussions with the promoter at Thiruvananthapuram some time this week.

All the concessions demanded by the promoter would also be discussed with the relevant departmental heads.

After that, an MoU would be signed with the promoter, they added.

``We want to revive the unit. Only now has a promoter has come forward; he has submitted a revised proposal as demanded by the Government. Now, it is for the Government to agree to the demands including the concessions such as sales tax exemption, power at low rates, etc., within its limits,'' Mr Saju Paul, MLA of the area, told Business Line.

He also said that the 300 acres the promoter has sought on lease for setting up a pulp plant is located near the plantation that was being planned and not in the area where the unit is located.

Secondly, the promoter wants the Government to make available 25,000 acres of forest land for planting eucalyptus, to be used as pulp wood.

The Government could consider this demand as a joint venture with the forest department, as was done in the case of Hindustan Newsprint Ltd, Mr Paul said.

The entrepreneur had initially demanded power at Rs 0.29 per unit for 20 years, but has now agreed to bring down the period to five years.

All the trade unions, cutting across political ideologies, are unanimous in supporting the revival of the company by the promoter, the MLA added.

The company's accumulated losses have crossed Rs 100 crore by now, an official said.

Trayons was declared sick in 1986 by BIFR, which appointed IDBI as the operating agency. The State Government has been playing the role of promoter since 1989.

The actual asset value of the company, as per recent revaluation, stood at Rs 75 crore as against total paid-up capital of Rs 4.75 crore.

The Government extended the lease of 75 acres on the banks of the Periyar river where the unit is located to another 99 years in 1999-2000.

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