The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 8 , 2014
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Ailing Incab courts hope in Delhi

- Landmark hearing today to decide who will revive company, Tata Steel or two Mumbai contenders

Fingers crossed. Jamshedpur is eagerly anticipating Tuesday’s hearing in Delhi High Court on the ailing Incab Industries Limited and hoping that it ends the company’s 14-year-old standstill.

The Delhi court will hear petitions of two bidders RR Kabels and Pegasus Assets Reconstruction Company filed against Tata Steel.

The steel major is a bidder interested in reviving Incab and enjoys the recommendation of the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) based on the findings of State Bank of India, the ailing unit’s operating agency.

Incab officials and union members are also hopeful of a breakthrough.

“The court order will pave the way for the revival of Incab, which is hanging in balance for 14 years,” said Aloke Sen, an assistant secretary of Incab Employees’ Association, Calcutta.

Earlier, the high court’s order had withheld the decision of both the Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (AAIFR) and Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR).

Both statutory bodies, which help revive sick industries, had approved Tata Steel’s takeover bid.

“If the court order favours Tata Steel, then the BIFR will have to come up with an advertisement declaring the name of the new promoter. If there are no objections to the BIFR advertisement, it will take another six months or so for completing necessary legal and other formalities before Incab is revived,” explained a local union member.

He added they had waited for 14 years for a headway. “But, now it looks like a decision will be made. Things can’t hang in balance forever,” he said.

Union representatives of Incab from Calcutta and Jamshedpur, representatives of the Calcutta-based State Bank of India, as well as other stakeholders will attend Tuesday’s hearing in Delhi High Court.

The riches-to-rags story of Incab is one of the industrial belt’s rare corporate tragedies. Closed for the past 14 years, Incab was referred to the BIFR way back in 1999. Incab has on its rolls around 1,100 employees who haven’t been getting their salaries since the company got referred to the BIFR.

Tata Steel submitted a detailed rehabilitation scheme for reviving the company in the year 2007. Although the BIFR in 2009 recommended Tata Steel’s name as the promoter, finding it more suitable than two other Mumbai based companies RR Kabels and Pegasus Assets Reconstruction Company, legal tangles delayed the revival process.

Though the AAIFR also upheld the BIFR decision in favour of Tata Steel in December 2012, RR Kabels and Pegasus moved Delhi High Court, challenging the decision.