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Kerala Govt set to take up revamp of 14 PSUs

Our Bureau

THRUVANANTHAPURAM, Feb. 2

THE State Government will take up the restructuring of 14 more public sector units in the second phase of the sick units revival programme, according to the Minister for Industries, Mr P.K. Kunhalikutty.

A number of units of Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation (Keltron) and a string of spinning mills are among those being listed for revival in the second phase, the Minister said.

A list of 12 sick PSUs identified earlier by the Government did not include any of these, he added.

The two main components of the restructuring programme are a one-time settlement programme and a voluntary retirement scheme.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned Rs 80 crore for restructuring 12 PSUs in the first phase.

"The State Government does not feel that that privatisation is a cure-all for the all the ills plaguing the public sector," he said.

"Professional management, among other things, is a vital ingredient in any programme aimed at lifting the PSUs from the red."

He also said that professionalisation of the management does not mean random induction of raw graduates.

The Government is inviting expert advice on this matter from outside agencies.

"The problems of each PSU are being attended to on a case-by-case basis to chart out the right solution," the Minister said.

The VRS programme, if any, would be implemented only after detailed consultations with the trade unions.

The State Government policy also does not favour the appointment of retired personnel.

No new appointments have been approved ever since the current Government assumed office.

The auditing work is being pursued with renewed vigour, according to the Minister.

HC Bench in capital: The State Government would continue to press the Kerala High Court for clearance to set up a Bench of the Court in the capital, the Chief Minister, Mr A.K. Antony, said.

The High Court had sought details on the extent of money being expended by the State Government for running its cases in the High Court situated in Ernakulam.

The departments concerned had been directed to submit the details of the respective litigations and the estimated expenditure.

The Chief Justice had informed the Government on December 15, 1999 that the High Court's views on the subject would be communicated after a Full Court Reference.

The Registrar's letter seeking information regarding expenditure being incurred by the Government for handling cases in the High Court had been received subsequently, the Chief Minister said.

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