The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Closure list of fertiliser units ready

New Delhi, Aug. 27 (PTI): In a far-reaching reform initiative in the fertiliser sector, a group of ministers (GoM) today recommended closure of 12 sick and unviable units in four fertiliser public enterprises, including Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCI) and Hindustan Fertiliser Corporation (HFC).

The recommendation would now be forwarded to the Union Cabinet for clearance, fertiliser and chemicals minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said after a meeting of the GoM headed by finance minister Jaswant Singh.

Four units of FCI, three each in Pyrits Phosphates and Chemicals (PPCL) and HFC and two in Projects Development India Ltd (PDIL) are recommended to be wound up, Dhindsa said.

He said a voluntary retirement scheme would be worked out for more than 12,200 workforce in the 12 units once the GoM recommendation gets the Cabinet nod.

ďAll necessary measures will be taken to protect the interests of all the employees in the units sought to be closed down. An appropriate package will be prepared for them,Ē Dhindsa said.

He said the group decided that two units of PDIL at Noida and Baroda should continue to function in view of their potential to get consultancy and similar other works, while the other two units may be closed down.

Similarly, leading fertiliser cooperative Kribhco would be given an opportunity to revamp and revive FCIís Barauni unit, one of the first nutrient manufacturing plant set up after independence.

According to GoMís recommendation, Kribhco may be given a fortnight to explore the possibility of running the Barauni unit. The possibility of supply of feedstock like gas from Indian Oil Corporation, which has a refinery in Barauni, would also be examined, sources said.

The recommendation of the GoM is expected to be placed before the Cabinet for consideration and clearance at the earliest, sources said.

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