Konark TV pleads for settlement of dues

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  • Published 14.03.12

Cuttack, March 13: Konark Television Limited, once a premier state-run television company of Odisha, has filed a petition in Orissa High Court seeking direction to the Odisha State Financial Corporation (OSFC) for settling its outstanding dues under a one-time settlement scheme.

The company filed the petition after the financial corporation moved the high court for recovery of an outstanding loan of Rs 15.05 crore with interest against the principal amount of Rs 1.47 crore availed by it as a term loan in 1986.

The television company was incorporated in June 1982 as a unit of the Odisha Small Industries Corporation. It is under liquidation and a petition filed by it for winding up the company has been pending before the company judge of the high court since 2007.

In July 2010, the high court had appointed an official liquidator, who is now in charge of the assets and liabilities of the company.

Former managing director of the company Ashok Kumar Panda said: “It is quite impossible on part of the company to repay only from sale proceeds of assets of the company.”

“Besides, the total liability position of the company is Rs 43.82 crore including the dues of employees amounting to Rs 12.36 crore”, the petition contended.

On February 19, The Telegraph had published a report on the plight of the retrenched employees of Konark TV, after it went bankrupt in the late 1990s because of mismanagement.

Later, the company’s land in the state capital was sold to different industrial houses with the intervention of the official arbitrator and money was collected to disburse to its employees and financial institutions.

After not getting their dues for 12 years, nearly 25 people died — some could not afford medical treatment, some committed suicide and others took to the begging bowl. Eighty-two employees of the company are still making rounds of the court to get their dues. “We are hopeful that we will get our legitimate dues after 12 years of struggle as the official liquidator has intervened,” a former employee said.

The petition came up for hearing yesterday. “After a brief hearing, the division bench of Chief Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice B.N. Mohapatra adjourned the case.

No date has been fixed for the next hearing,” company’s counsel Hareram Mishra told The Telegraph.

“If OSFC settles the outstanding dues in the same line as the other financial institutions, the sale proceeds from the assets of the company can take care of the long pending dues of the workers and other secured and non-secured creditors,” Konark TV contends.