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Hindustan Shipyard in limbo

Hindustan Shipyard in limbo

Mumbai: Hindustan Shipyard Limited is paying dearly for the delay in its takeover by the Ministry of Defence, reports the Hindu.
With speculation over a deliberate attempt to evade clearance from the Union Cabinet and the talk that it has again been referred to the Group of Ministers gaining currency, uncertainty dogs the future of the yard. The GoM had cleared the takeover plan a year ago.
The yard at present faces a severe cash crunch as an order was issued by the Ministry of Shipping to stop acceptance of shipbuilding indent a year and a half ago after the after the in-principle clearance to bring HSL under the administrative control of the MoD.
Since the 'undeclared ban' on new orders, the HSL is estimated to have lost indents amounting to over Rs.3,000 crores. For each agreement for building a ship, the HSL would have got 10 to 15 per cent of total value of the order as advance. Sources told The Hindu that as of now, it had orders worth Rs.2,000 crores, which were accepted before the MoD takeover plan was mooted.
The yard has a workforce of 3,800 on its payroll and provides indirect employment to 5,000 to 10,000 people. During the boom-time, a lot of enquiries were there for shipbuilding.
Now due to slump, the HSL is not likely to get new orders in the near future if MoD backs out from taking it over.
Hindustan Shipyard Officers Association president A. Radhakrishna Murthy recently sent SoS to Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee, who heads of the GoM and Minister for Defence A.K. Antony to intervene immediately and bail out the HSL from the present crisis and expedite the process for Cabinet nod for putting it on the right track.  [14/01/09]

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