BEML Ltd today promised to work in joint venture with Coal India Ltd and Damodar Valley Corporation to reopen the closed mining machinery facility of Mining and Allied Machinery Corporation (MAMC) in Durgapur. The Bangalore-based mine gear major previously wanted to pull out of the proposed joint venture.

However, that is not enough. Instead of entering a shareholder’s agreement for the venture, the previous management of the company - headed by the recently suspended Chairman Mr V.R.S. Natarajan – created a subsidiary MAMC Industries Ltd and approached the requisite authority for transfer of 193 acres of factory premises.

At the State Secretariat meeting on Wednesday - attended by top officials of three companies and the State Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Partha Chatterjee – BEML today promised to seek board approval for entering a 48 per cent joint venture with CIL (26 per cent) and DVC (26 per cent). If approved by the board, BEML will include the coal and power majors in MAMC Industries as joint venture partners.

“BEML, CIL and DVC will enter into shareholders agreement to form the joint venture, MAMC Industries, by August 31,” Mr Chatterjee later told media persons.

Sources later told Business Line that the BEML team led by part-time Chairman, Mr P. Dwarakanath, who attended today’s meeting promised all co-operation to take the joint venture forward.

Meanwhile, prodded by the State Government the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA), which owns the 193 acres of factory premises raised objection to the lease transfer in favour of MAMC Industries (now a BEML subsidiary). In the changes scheme of things, the lease will be transferred once MAMC is converted into a joint venture.

Describing today’s meeting as fruitful a CIL source said that the two-year long impasse over the joint venture may be ended soon.

According to him, once the shareholders agreement is in place, MAMC Industries will appoint a consultant to study the business feasibility.

pratim.bose@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 11, 2012)
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