Bengal passes Bills to take control of Jessop, Dunlop

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on January 20, 2018

'Thousands of employees of the two companies have not got their dues over a substantial period of time'

The West Bengal Assembly on Saturday passed two pieces of legislation to take over management control of Dunlop India Ltd and Jessop & Co Ltd from Pawan Ruia group.

On the last day of the Assembly session in the poll-bound State, two Bills – Dunlop India Limited (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Bill, 2016, and Jessop and Company Limited (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Bill 2016 - were passed by voice vote.

State’s Industries, Commerce and Finance Minister Amit Mitra tabled the Bills in the House. The Left and Congress legislators did not oppose the Bill, but wondered how the takeover could be implemented when the matters are sub-judice.

The State government in the statement of object and reasons of both the Bills said, “thousands of employees” of the two companies “have not got their dues over a substantial period of time” and “are in acute financial distress”.

The purpose of the takeover was stated to be to “sub serve the interest of general public”.

Pawan Ruia group by virtue of its acquisitions of Dunlop in 2005 and Jessop in 2003 still holds the control of these companies.

Two of the Dunlop’s tyre units – one at Sahagunj near here and another at Ambattur near Chennai – are under suspension of work. The Calcutta High Court had allowed liquidation of Dunlop on January 31, 2013. The Supreme Court, however, through an order, maintained status quo on the subject.

Jessop’s wagon making and engineering unit here is also not operational for many years now. It is reported to have around 700 employees.

At present, the number of workers at Dunlop’s West Bengal unit is estimated to be about 400.

However, workers’ union sources indicated that 1,200 employees, who had retired since 2009, did not get their dues including retirement benefits. Meanwhile, Dunlop recently informed that its Company Secretary resigned from February 10.

Published on February 27, 2016

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