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Friday, Sep 19, 2003

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Corporate - Sick Units

Decision on TRL likely this month

G.K. Nair

Kochi , Sept. 18

INDICATIONS are that a positive decision on the revival of the sick Travancore Rayons Ltd (TRL) at nearby Perumbavoor would emerge soon provided the promoters submitted a final demand with minimum requirements.

Mr P.P. Thankachan, former speaker of the State Assembly and leader of the trade unions action council, told Business Line that the Cabinet sub-committee, which met on Sept. 12 had asked the promoters to come down on their demand to the minimum and submit a proposal soon. Mr Thankachan said that the Chief Minister had assured him "of a firm decision" on the revival package in the next meeting.

The meeting, convened by the State Industries Minister, was attended by the Ministers of Electricity, Forests, Finance and Transport. The promoters were represented by Mr Damodaran and Mr M.S. Singh. The meeting ended on a positive note, he said.

There was an agreement on the demands of the promoter except on deferment of electricity charges, he said. The promoters wanted the State Electricity Board to defer payment of power charges for three years or till the hydel project proposed by them to become operational. But, according to the new electricity Bill, the KSEB would not be able to accept this demand, he said.

The promoters' demands included concessions/facilities such as electricity tariff at 29 paise per unit for a minimum period of five years; continuance of existing water tariff; extension of land lease for 99 years at the existing lease rental; continuance of Government guarantee to financial institutions/banks till clearance by the new management or 10 years; waiver of entire disputed/undisputed electricity dues/duty and sales tax; exemption from sales tax for 10 years and waiver of guarantee commission accrued and to accrue.

The State Government has to take a decision before Sept 24, the extended deadline granted by the High Court.

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