J&K moots closure, privatization of 4 Corpns to cut wasteful expdt

I&C Deptt waits for pandemic to ease before final call
Comprehensive plan for staff rehabilitation

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 15: The Jammu and Kashmir Government has proposed closure of J&K Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (SICOP), J&K Minerals Limited and J&K Industries Limited and privatization of J&K Cements Limited with a view to reduce wasteful expenditure being incurred by the Industries and Commerce Department in running loss making Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)/ Corporations under the Department’s control.
The Government had initiated process to this effect few months back but in view of COVID pandemic, the exercise to close/privatize the Corporations might take some time as major focus of the administration is on COVID control measures.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Government has proposed comprehensive plan for rehabilitation of staff of the Corporations to be closed/merged to ensure that they don’t suffer.
“The proposal to this effect had been mooted by the Lieutenant Governor’s Secretariat few months back with a view to cut down wasteful expenditure in running loss making Corporations in which the Industries and Commerce Department had been asked to close/merge some of the Corporations. The Department had initiated the process but suddenly Coronavirus pandemic broke out and administration’s focus was shifted towards COVID control measures,” sources said, adding the process will gain momentum when situation on Corona front stabilizes.
The final call will be taken by the Industries & Commerce Department soon, sources said.
As per the proposal, the SICOP should be closed and all the Industrial Estates presently managed by SICOP should be transferred to State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO).
“The SIDCO should manage all Industrial Estates of the Union Territory to promote Large, Medium and Small Scale Industries,” as per the Government proposal,
It further stated that J&K Minerals should be closed and the Mineral sites being managed by it be auctioned as per the norms.
The Government proposed that J&K Cements Limited should be privatized after assessment of its assets in a transparent manner.
It also proposed closure of the J&K Industries Limited.
“All industrial units run by the J&K Industries Limited should be privatized/auctioned,” the proposal stated.
Another proposal mooted by the Government regarding merger of J&K Handicrafts Corporation and J&K State Handloom Development Corporation has already been implemented by the Industries and Commerce Department. The new Corporation has separate Directorates for both Jammu and Kashmir divisions.
The Government had asked the Industries and Commerce Department to make detailed assessment of assets of the Corporations to be closed for their disposal under rules.
Confirming that the proposal to close, privatize and merge some Corporations had been mooted by the Government few months back, sources said a part of it was implemented with merger of J&K Handicrafts Corporation and J&K State Handloom Development Corporation but due to Coronavirus pandemic, rest part of it i.e. closure and privatization of other Corporations remained pending.
The Department is reportedly of the view that privatization of the Corporations and auction might not fetch good results at the time of pandemic and, therefore, the process will be expedited once the situation on Corona front is controlled to some extent.
Sources said the Government proposal to privatize and shut down some Corporations was part of reforms in Industries and Commerce Department.