GUWAHATI, July 7: Assam is in for another shock. Despite assurance from Dispur for its revival, a process is going on for selling the old and rickety machines of Assam State Fertilizer and Chemicals Ltd (ASFCL), amidst protest by its employees. The employees fear that this selling may sound the death knell for the revival of the company.
Such a shock came close on the heels of the Centre’s recent move to get HPC Ltd declared insolvent. The Centre has already moved the National Company Law Tribunal with a petition to get HPC Ltd declared insolvent. And now the State-owned ASFCL located at Chandrapur, Guwahati has started selling its rickety machines in the form of scrap metals. Recently ASFCL Managing Director DK Goswami invited tender for selling the rickety machines of the company.
The company produces mainly sulfuric acid, mixed fertilizer, green sulfur, single-superphosphate, etc. Production by the company has fallen as many of its ageing machines are lying idle due to lack of proper repair and upkeep. The products of this company had many takers in the Northeast. Green sulfur is an essential chemical being used by tea gardeners.
Dispur had assured the employees of revival of the company earlier. It was on September 26, 2016 State Industries Minister wrote a letter to the Union Industries Minister seeking Rs 4,911.35 lakh for the revival of company, said sources in the employees’ association.
ASFCL was owned by the State Government in 1988 with the assurance that it would modernize it and enhance its production capacity. However, during the Congress rule in the State, the fiscal health of the company kept deteriorating. The former Congress government had cited lack of funds for its inability to revive the company. From 2015, the company has not been able to pay employees’ salaries, leading to massive job cuts.