CITU workers lay siege to BEML Palakkad unit against disinvestment

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on February 17, 2021

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Thousands of workers belonging to the CITU faction on Wednesday laid siege to the Palakkad unit of BEML for around one hour in protest against the Centre’s decision to disinvest 26 per cent share in the Bangalore based PSU.

Seeking the urgent intervention of the Prime Minister to withdraw from the decision of the stake sale, Elamaram Kareem, MP pointed out that the company has already disinvested partially and the government owns 54 per cent of total equity and the rest 46 per cent is held by public, financial institutions, FII's, banks and employees.

BEML plays a pivotal role and serves India's core sectors such as Defence, Rail, Power, Mining and Infrastructure.

He pointed out that there is a long pending proposal with the Union Government for setting up a railway coach factory in Palakkad which is intended to start with the support and expertise of BEML unit there. The proposal of the coach factory will never be implemented if the BEML Palakkad unit is not there in the public sector, he said.

Till now, the Centre has not taken a favourable decision on this proposal. The decision to disinvest and transfer the management control of the profit making unit to private hands is highly disappointing, he said.

The total value of the assets of BEML is estimated to be a minimum of ₹50,000 crore. The company started with a modest turnover of Rs5crore during 1965 and today it has been able to achieve a turnover of more than ₹3,500 crore, Kareem added.

BEML Palakkad unit functioning at Kanjikode was established in 2010 and has around 300 employees and 150 contract staff. The unit is operating in an efficient manner and largely contributes to the social and economic development of its adjoining area and the State as a whole, said S.Gireesh, general secretary, BEML Employees Union.

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Published on February 17, 2021
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