Govt asks HMT Watches to raise own funds for paying salaries

New Delhi, Government has asked HMT Watches to arrange funds on its own to clear pending salary dues of its employees, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

As many as eight central public sector enterprises under the Department of Heavy Industries (DHI) are under closure.

Giving details about three such entities — HMT Bearings, HMT Watches and HMT Chinar Watches, Union Minister Anant Geete said during Question Hour that the employees of these undertakings have been relieved through VRS/VSS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme/Voluntary Separation Scheme).

However, 146 employees of the HMT Watches’ Ranibagh unit have moved the High Court and obtained a stay on the company’s closure, he said, adding that the matter is sub-judice.

HMT Watches has sought funds from DHI for payment of salary for the period from January 2016 to March 2017 of Rs 19 crore for 815 employees relieved between January to June 2016 comprising Rs 10.70 crore and Rs 8.30 crore for 146 employees of watch factory Ranibagh who did not opt for VRS, he said.

“In this regard, the company has been asked to explore alternate measures including sale proceeds of moveable assets to arrange on their own,” Geete said.

About Tungabhadra Steel Products Ltd, the Minister said VRS has been completed for all employees and all dues have been settled.

In the case of Hindustan Cables, Geete said all employees except 125 people of Naini unit, Allahabad have opted for VRS.

“Naini unit has been transferred to HAL with 125 employees. Amount of Rs 250.98 crore has been released for VRS/VSS. Dues have been settled in all cases except 21 cases due to technical reasons,” he noted.

The Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises said 466 employees of the Hindustan Photo Films Mfg Co Ltd have been relieved through VRS and 167 employees are still on the rolls of the company.