KCCI smells rat in ‘proposed’ JK Cements outsourcing

SRINAGAR: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) has expressed opposition to reported plans by the state government to outsource Jammu and Kashmir Cements Ltd, a government undertaking.

Taking a serious note the decision under consideration, the KCCI discussed the implications of outsourcing of the state government undertakings, like Jammu & Kashmir Cements Limited, as reported in the local media.

“Jammu & Kashmir Cements Limited was the largest state industrial undertaking earning profits till recently.The undertaking would have played a price stabilizer role in the highly in demand market of the state,” Faiz Ahmad Bakshi, Jt. Secretary General, KCCI, said in a press communiqué. “The cement factories are earning huge profits and there should be no reason why the Jammu & Kashmir Cements Limited should suffer from a loss-like situation.

“Instead of outsourcing or privatizing the unit, the government should initiate a fact-finding process to identify the real factors that spell doom on this otherwise viable venture and devise efficient ways and measures for making it a profitable unit,” Bakshi said.

He said the surplus staff , if any, can be diverted elsewhere or relieved by way of a golden handshake scheme.

He demanded the unit be provided with the required technical staff for its factories to run smoothly and profitably. “Back on track, it can help in a great way to stabilize and balance the otherwise unbridled exorbitant prices prevailing in the market more in the wake of rehabilitation/ reconstruction process after September-2014 floods.”

The reports, he said, raise suspicion in view of vigilance enquiries and the recent gutting of JKCL. “Why the JKCL is running in loss at a time when others are making huge profits is something that should surprise us all,” asked Bakhshi.

“During the last few months cement prices throughout the country, particularly in North India, have witnessed considerable decline,” he said. “Yet the cement prices for the cement produced in Kashmir keeps soaring.” Incidentally the prevailing price per bag of 50 KGs of cement in Delhi is Rs. 253/- despite the fact that Delhi is not a cement producing state. Prices in neighbouring Punjab are at a further lower. 

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