Wimco closure threat

Read more below

By The Telegraph Online in Calcutta
  • Published 17.09.04

Calcutta, Sept. 17: The country?s pioneer match-box manufacturer, Wimco, today threatened closure of its 80-year-old unit at Dakshineswar if Delhi did not roll back excise duty.

The levy on safety matches manufactured in the mechanised sector was hiked from 8 to 16 per cent in the Union budget. Wimco officials said it was no longer possible to compete with cottage industry matchbox-makers who are exempt from the duty.

?We will close down our factory here if we do not get a relief,? said . Chakraborty, the general manager (works) of Wimco?s Calcutta operations.

Though Wimco, controlled by Swedish Match Company, has plants in Ambarnath near Mumbai, Chennai and Bareili, Dakshineswar is the biggest manufacturer and the hardest hit. Hence, the closure cloud looms here more than anywhere else. Company sources said plans were afoot to modernise the Dakshineswar plant at a cost of about Rs 200 crore.