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Shri Nadendla Bhaskara Rao Called The Attention Of The Minister Of … on 29 July, 1998

Lok Sabha Debates
Shri Nadendla Bhaskara Rao Called The Attention Of The Minister Of … on 29 July, 1998


Title: Shri Nadendla Bhaskara Rao called the attention of the Minister of Industry to the situation arising out of non-payment of salaries and other statutory dues to employees of some Public Sector Undertakings particularly Hindustan Cables Ltd., Hyderabad and non-transfer of its administrative control to the Ministry of Communications and the steps taken by the Government in regard thereto.

14.18 hrs

SHRI NADENDLA BHASKARA RAO (KHAMMAM): Sir, I call the attention of the Minister of Industry to the following matter of urgent public importance and request that he may make a statement thereon:

“Situation arising out of non-payment of salaries and other statutory dues to employees of some Public Sector Undertakings particularly Hindustan Cables Limited, Hyderabad and non-transfer of its administrative control to the Ministry of Communications and the steps taken by the Government in regard thereto.”

“>THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY (SHRI SIKANDER BAKHT): Sir, Government is concerned about the undesirable situation of non-payment of salaries and other statutory dues to employees of sick Public Sector Undertakings whenever such a contingency arises.

The endeavour of the Government has been to ensure that the wages of workers are paid in time. However, at times, despite the best efforts and commitment of the PSE the payment of wages as well as other statutory dues to workers of sick PSEs are delayed. I am painfully conscious of and share the concern of the hon. Members in regard to hardship the workers must be going through as a result of these delays.

It is primarily the responsibility of the management of the enterprise to pay wages and salaries to its employees. Still the Government has been providing non-plan loans to the sick PSEs to meet their critical requirements, including for payment of salaries and wages to the employees and thereby to mitigate their hardships, when it has no other source.

Hindustan Cables Limited was set up in 1952, to manufacture cables to cater to the needs of telecom sector. HCL has been a supplier of telecom cables to the Department of Telecommunications. Since 1988, the DOT discontinued special procurement arrangement with HCL and started procuring cables through open tenders. In recent times, the performance of HCL has been suffering for want of adequate working capital and timely orders.

The salaries and wages remain unpaid mainly in the Rupnarainpur unit of HCL. Arrears of statutory dues as on 31.3.98 are nearly Rs.23 crore. Government is making every effort to resolve the issue.

Meetings have taken place between the officials of Department of Telecommunications, Department of Heavy Industry and HCL for working out modalities for DOT placing orders with HCL and for provision of advance payment. I have taken up the matter with the Minister of Communications.

SHRI NADENDLA BHASKARA RAO (KHAMMAM): Mr. Chairman Sir, I have gone through the statement given by the hon. Minister of Industries. There is nothing new in it to be noted. This matter relates to the Hindustan Cables Ltd., Hyderabad which is located at Hyderabad. It comes under the public sector under heavy industries. Its business is to manufacture and supply telecom cables. It has been started in the year 1952 and the turnover is about Rs.600 crore every year. It is such a big industry.

For the past four decades, it has been supplying all these cables to the Telecom Department. Its customer is the Telecom Department and the HCL has been meeting this demand for the past forty-five years. About 5,300 skilled and trained manpower is there in all these three units. Perhaps, the the unit at Hyderabad is the main unit.

As a matter of fact, some of us visited the site. The machinery, that is located there in that area is very huge and nobody is using it now. Following the liberalisation policy, the Government is depending on ITA and HTL. They are not giving any order to HCL. So, the company suffered and it defaulted in payment of salaries. Not only the salaries, there are certain statutory duties, for example, PF, gratuity, LIC premia, etc. upon the company which they defaulted. It has defaulted because of the non-placement of orders.

As a matter of fact, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment, Shri Dattatreya Bandaru, who is from Hyderabad, has written letters to the State Government and the Central Government. He has visited these factories. This has to be taken up by the Ministry of Communications because the main customer of this industry is Communication, the Telecom industry. So, this may be shifted from the Ministry of Industry to the Telecom Department. I do not know, what objection the Central Government has in this. Once it is taken, the orders will be placed for all these three companies, they will equally share it and see that the company need not be closed.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh represented by the Chief Minister has also written to the Prime Minister requesting that this may be shifted from Industry Department to the Telecom Department. But it has not been done. For the past one month, I have been waiting for this Calling Attention Motion which has been given.

No salaries have been given to the employees. So, I would request the hon. Minister that at least, the Hyderabad unit may be separated from the other two factories. The units at Rupnarainpur and Allahabad are not at all functioning. That may be separated in the sense that it can be made as a separate entity instead of attaching it to these two industries.

Now, what all that we are requesting for is that since the company has failed and defaulted and not paid even the statutory dues, this may be transferred from the Department of Heavy Industry to the Telecom Department.

They will distribute all these things. The facilities extended to ITI may be extended to HCL also. This is a simple request that we are making. They have got 5300 employees. They are on the streets. They did not get their salaries. They got nothing. At least, on humanitarian ground, this request may be considered.

The hon. Minister of Communications is here. Definitely, you can discuss with her and you may come to the conclusion for shifting this company to that Department. Since that is the main customer, we will deal with them. They will pay their salaries and they will be all right. That is the main contention in this Calling Attention. I hope that the Minister will not have any objection to the transfer of this industry to the Ministry of Communications. It has contributed about Rs.2000 crore to the Central Government by way of taxes so far in all these 40 years. Definitely, the Government has to consider this request. It may be shifted from the Department of Heavy Industry to the Telecommunications Department. The Telecommunications Department may kindly clear off all the dues. That is my request. (ends)

“>SHRI M. RAJAIAH (SIDDIPET): Sir, the Hyderabad unit is located in my constituency. As our hon. Member, Shri Nadendla Bhaskara Rao has explained, this unit is a very big unit. It is manufacturing cable mainly for the utilisation of Telecommunications Department. About 5300 employees are there. They are not getting their salaries. I have gone through the statement made by the hon. Minister of Industry. In the statement, it is stated that meetings have taken place between the officials of Heavy Industry and the Telecommunications Department and they are trying to place some orders and for that they wanted to give some advances. We agree with that. But, without this, it is very difficult for them.

It is already stated in the same statement that it discontinued orders in 1988 and open tenders have been called for. If open tenders have been called for, there may not be any work order for this particular industry. I request both the hon. Minister of Industry and the Minister of Communications to better hand over this unit to the Telecommunications Department. The cable or whichever is manufactured in this company can be utilised only for the Telecommunications Department. If it were handed over to the Telecommunications Department, it will be very good for the employees.

Actually, when we visited that company, we saw machineries worth crores of rupees lying there. They are lying idle. We are not able to utilise the manpower as well as the machinery. We are actually wasting the national property. That is why, I request the Ministers concerned to provide the necessary facilities to run the company. The wages must be paid to the employees immediately. This is my request. I thank you for having given me this opportunity.

“>SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA (BANKURA): The Public Sector Undertakings of our country played a very important role to make our country self-reliant. Pandit Nehru used to say that the Public Sector Undertakings are the modern temples of India. Now the Government is out to destroy these modern temples of India by way of disinvestment, by way of privatisation, by way of closure and by way of natural death. There are a number of Public Sector Undertakings, not only in the Ministry of Heavy Industry but also in the Ministries of Textiles and Commerce where the workers have not been paid their salaries and wages for months together.

They have not been paid not for one or two months but even for l4, l6 or l7 months. What has the Minister stated? He said that the endeavour of the Government has been to ensure that the wages of the workers are paid in time. I would like to know from the concerned hon. Ministers who are present here -because this Calling Attention is not only pertaining to one particular unit, but to all the public sector undertakings where the wages have not been paid for months together — what efforts have been made by this Government to pay the wages of the workers and employees of the public sector undertakings.

In the Budget Speech in paragraph 82 of the Finance Minister it has been stated that a provision of Rs.l,482 crore has been made for non-Plan loans to public sector enterprises for payment of salaries and wages to the employees of sick and convalescent public sector undertakings. A provision has been made. The total amount due to the workers of public sector undertakings comes to about Rs.900 crore. So, what prevents this Government from taking steps to clear the salaries and wages of the employees of public sector undertakings? What has the Minister stated? He is only passing the buck to the management of the public sector undertakings.

Who is the owner of these public sector undertakings? The owner is the Government of India; the owner is the President of India. All the shares are in the name of the President of India. So, when the owner is the Government of India what prevents them from paying?

There is a Payment of Wages Act, The Minister of Labour has come here, I am happy. There is also a provision to take steps if there is a violation of that Act. If the Government of India has enacted this Payment of Wages Act, if that Act is blatantly violated by the Government of India, what action should be taken against this Government? This Government is the owner. They have enacted a law, the Payment of Wages Act. Under that Act one day’s delay should not be there. The Minister of Labour knows it very well. It should not be delayed for one day even. The Government is bound to pay the wages.

I can give a list of a number of public sector undertakings like the Bharat Process Mechanical Engineering Limited where the workers have not been paid their salaries and wages for more than one year. JESSOPS has not paid them for four months. HCL, Hindustan Cables Ltd in Roop Narainpur also have not paid. I do not agree with the proposal that the Hyderabad unit of HCL because it is a modern unit should be bifurcated from other units. Our proposal is that as the HCL is manufacturing optical fibre and jelly-filled cables and because of liberalisation the policy which has been adopted in 1991 is not correct. We apprehended that we have opened our country to outsiders, the cables are being imported, our Swadeshi industry is being destroyed and ruined by foreign countries because of import of cables and because of uneven competition.

MR. CHAIRMAN : You are not to make any speech. You have to seek clarifications. You know the rules of Calling Attention.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : I know the rules. But you may relax the rules or they may be waived for a moment because of the gravity of the situation.

MR. CHAIRMAN: How can it be?

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Sir, you also know about it. It is in your hands. I am not talking irrelevant points. (Interruptions). The hon. Minister of Industry knows about the problems of the MAMC. The hon. Minister has written a letter to the Chief Minister of West Bengal suggesting the closure of that unit. For the last five or six months, the workers have not been getting their wages.

I would like to mention something about the Tea Trading Corporation of India (TTCI). It is a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Commerce. I have seen a news report which had appeared in The Statesman that four workers had died because of starvation. In spite of the Calcutta High Court’s order, the employees have not been paid their salaries and wages for the last fourteen months.

Then, I would like to mention about Bharat Process and Engineering Limited and Refractory Unit of Burn Standard. The workers have not been paid their salaries for several months. We have mentioned this to the hon. Minister. (Interruptions).

MR. CHAIRMAN : Please do not disturb him.

… (Interruptions)

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Then, I come to National Projects Construction seventeen months in different units. The hon. Minister of Labour knows about it. I met him and submitted a memorandum in this regard. The total dues come to Rs. 900 crore. The hon. Minister has expressed his concern, but it has not been implemented. His concern remains as concern only. It has to be implemented by clearing the wages of the employees working in different public sector undertakings. The hon. Minister has stated that the statutory dues of the employees, who have retired from HCL, come to about Rs. 20 crore. The total statutory dues come to more than Rs. 500 crore. The workers who have

retired two or three years back are yet to get their gratuity and provident fund money.

The hon. Minister has amended the Gratuity and Provident Fund Acts. Even after one year of retirement, thousands of workers are yet to get their statutory dues, Provident Fund and Gratuity. I would like to know from the hon. Minister what steps he proposes to take in regard to payment of statutory dues of these workers. As a result of that, the workers are starving and dying.

Now, I come to H.C.L. It was set up in 1952. At that time, it was a single unit. Then, the Hyderabad, Naini and Narendrapur units came up. There were four units. Because of our sustained efforts, the Ministry of Communications have agreed to place orders to the extent of 50 per cent and paid advance also to the extent of 50 per cent. However, the Ministry is sitting on the file for the last two or three months. I met the hon. Minister of Communications. She told me that the transfer of H.C.L. from the Department of Heavy Industry to Ministry of Communications is under active consideration of the Ministry. Unless it is transferred from the Department of Heavy Industry to Ministry of Communications, the undertaking will not get an assured order. There are some undertakings under the Ministry of Communications. Their condition is better than HCL.

There is an assured order for them. They get orders from the Ministry of Communications. So, I would like to know from both the Ministers, the Minister of Industry, whether he agrees to transfer to the Communications Ministry, and the Minister of Communications, whether he agrees to take back that undertaking. मियां-बीवी राज़ी, तो कया करेगा काज़ी।

If both the Ministers agree, there should not be any problem. Sir, you will also like to support their cause.

MR. CHAIRMAN : Both the Ministers are here. They will give the reply.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA (BANKURA): So, Sir, I would like to know whether the Government is actively considering to transfer HCL to the Ministry of Communications and if so, by when.

“> श्री विकास चौधरी (आसनसोल): महोदय, आज का कालिंग एटेंशन सरकारी क्षेत्रों में कर्मचारियों को वेतन न देने के कारण सरकार का ध्यान दिलाने के लिए प्रस्तुत किया गया है। सरकारी क्षेत्र के कारखाने राष्ट्रीय उद्योग हैं और इन कारखानों में पिछले १४ महीनों से मजदूरों को सैलरी नहीं मिल रही है। कहा जाता है कि ये कारखानें सिक हैं। मैं बताना चाहता हूं कि हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स लमिटेड सिक नहीं है और न ही इसे”> BIFRको रैफर किया गया है। यहां प्रोडकशन करने के लिए वर्िकंग केपिटल की कमी है। रॉ-मेटरियल की कमी है। इसके लिए कारपोरेट के चेयरमैन मंत्रालय के साथ दरख्वास्त करते आ रहे हैं, ताकि वर्िकंग कैपिटल मिल जाए। हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स लमिटेड में पिछले पांच महीने से तलब बाकी है। माननीय सदस्य बसुदेव आचार्य जी ने इस बारे में डिटेल में बताया है। बर्नस्टैंडर्ड उद्योग हमारे निर्वाचन क्षेत्र में है और इस उद्योग के दो भाग हैं – एक रिफ्रैकटरी और दूसरा इन्जीनियरिंग। रिफ्रैकटरी में पिछले चार महीने से तलब नहीं दिया जा रहा है और इन्जीनियरिंग में पिछले एक महीने से तलब नहीं दिया जा रहा है। ऐसा लगता है कि जैसे यहां कोई मजदूरों के ऊपर इकोनोमिक सैंग्शन्स लगा दी गई है। ये मजदूर कोई देश से बाहर के मजदूर नहीं है। राष्ट्रीय उद्योगों के मजदूर हैं। इस तरह की सैंग्शन्स को हम समझ नहीं पा रहे हैं। इन उद्योंगो को बन्द करने के लिए एक साजिश रची जा रही है। किसी स्वार्थ के कारण ऐसा कदम उठाया जा रहा है। सरकार को मजदूरों के हित में काम करना चाहिए। मंत्री जी से बयान में भी तलब देने के लिए कोई नश्िचत बात नहीं कही गई है। मेरा सरकार से निवेदन है कि मजदूरों के हितों को ध्यान में रखते हुए, उनको तुरन्त तलब दिया जाए। यह कालिंग एटेंशन मजदूरों के हित को ध्यान में रखकर ही सदन में प्रस्तुत किया गया है।

SHRI NADENDLA BHASKARA RAO (KHAMMAM): For non-payment of contributions to the statutory authority, the officer of the HCL is about to be arrested. That is the only thing that I wish to bring to the notice of the hon. Minister.

SHRI SIKANDER BAKHT: Sir, I have got all the details regarding this matter with me. But I just want to inform the hon. Members who have participated in the Calling Attention Motion that I share their concern. The Government has inherited public sector undertakings in certain situations. We are trying to create the best out of it. Concern has been shown about the workers. We are doing our best. I should not stray like my friend Shri Acharia strayed from the original subject of Hyderabad Unit of the HCL.

In fact, I do not want to prolong this discussion at all. I would like to convey to the hon. Members, specially the initiator of the Calling Attention Motion, Shri Bhaskara Rao, that we are doing everything to ensure that the Hyderabad Unit continues and does not go down under. It is all right to complain about things because there is no doubt that things are bad, but we are doing everything to see that Hyderabad Unit of the HCL is saved. Everything possible is being done and considered. I have been discussing things with my colleague, the Minister of Communications and we are looking for a solution. We are accepting that things are bad, but we are determined that we will save the Hyderabad Unit of the HCL, the Allahabad Unit as well as the Roopnarayan Pur Unit. The Roopnarayan Pur Unit is over-staffed. That is the basic malady. So, we are ensuring that even if the Roopnarayan Pur Unit is over-staffed, we find out some alternate jobs for the workers. Therefore, the House may please remain assured that we are going to do everything to save the HCL from going down under. What else do they want me to say? We have been speaking generally of the PSUs. ….(Interruptions)

SHRI PRAMOTHES MUKHERJEE (BERHAMPORE) (WB): Sir, not a single point has been addressed by the Government on sick public sector undertakings.

MR. CHAIRMAN :You are not entitled to ask.

SHRI SIKANDER BAKHT: Therefore, I think that the debate on this subject should be over after my bringing it to the notice of the hon. Members that we are as concerned about HCL as they all are.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : What about other units?

SHRI SIKANDER BAKHT: For other units, he has to give a fresh notice. I will come and explain. ….(Interruptions) He had played far and wide.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Sir, I am on a point of order. ….(Interruptions) Sir, the Calling Attention reads “…the situation arising out of non-payment of salaries and other statutory dues to employees of some Public Sector Undertakings ….”

SHRI SIKANDER BAKHT: Whatever you say is accepted. We are doing the same thing about all the units. There are a number of undertakings which have been referred to the BIFR. We are ensuring that a revival package is brought out for each one of them. There are some of them which are facing difficulties, but we are still not giving up the options to ensure that they should be revived.

Sir, we are doing everything to revive this unit employees.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : What about the payment of salary? Revival is a different question.

SHRI SIKANDER BAKHT: Sir, it is very easy to talk about salaries. We have reserved Rs.931 crore for salaries during 1995-96, Rs.1,218.45 crore during 1996-97 and Rs.1,106 crore during 1997-98. There are some basic physical difficulties. We are fighting with them and also fighting for the cause of workers. It is easy to make long speeches, but it is difficult to solve all the problems. Still we are meeting the demands.

Sir, I can inform that as budgetary support for the HCL under Plan and Non-Plan, Rs.0.75 lakh and Rs.16.29 crore respectively have been provided for the year 1998-99. So, it is being looked after. I do not have anything further to say.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Mr. Chairman, Sir, we are not satisfied with the Minister’s reply. (Interruptions) He has not said anything about the immediate steps which the Government is contemplating to take in regard to payment of wages and salaries to the employees.

SHRI SIKANDER BAKHT: Sir, I have said about it.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Sir, an amount of Rs.1,413 crore has been earmarked for salaries and wages of the employees of the sick and convalescing units. What has the Minister done about it? Is the Government going to clear the wages as well as the statutory dues of the workers? Where is the concern of the Minister for the employees? The Minister is not at all concerned about them.

SHRI NADENDLA BHASKARA RAO (KHAMMAM): Mr. Chairman, Sir, since the other Minister, that is, the hon. Minister of Communications is also present here, I specifically requested the hon. Minister to think of transferring this unit from the Department of Heavy Industry to the Ministry of Communications which is the main customer, so that this unit can be placed at par with ITI, HTL, etc.

SHRI SIKANDER BAKHT: That decision cannot be taken on the floor of the House. But I have already stated that the discussions are on with the Ministry of Communications.

SHRI NADENDLA BHASKARA RAO : Sir, we made a request to the hon. Prime Minister in this regard. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Communications have said that they are considering it and that they would take a decision soon.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING AND MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS (SHRIMATI SUSHMA SWARAJ): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I think, the Labour Minister wants to say something.

DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY (VISAKHAPATNAM): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I want to ask some questions.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You have come late. It is already over. The Labour Minister will say something now. Please take your seat.

DR. ASIM BALA : Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Minister has not said anything about the statutory dues.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You cannot ask all the questions now. Please take your seat.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Shri Baalu, this is a Calling Attention Motion and not a discussion under Rule 193. You know the procedure. Please take your seat.

… (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please hear the Labour Minister first.

DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have given notice. I want to speak.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You have come late. That is your fault. Please take your seat.

… (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Shri Acharia, I will give you chance later for asking clarifications. Please take your seat.

DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY : Sir, kindly assure me that you would give me a chance to ask some questions.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Dr. Reddy, this is a Calling Attention Motion. You can ask clarifications. I will allow you later. Please take your seat.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Mr. Chairman, Sir, about 1,300 workers in Hindustan Steel Construction Limited at Bokaro and IDPL have not been paid their salaries. The Minister has not said anything about it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Shri Acharia, first hear the statement of the Labour Minister.

DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY : Mr. Chairman, Sir, the statement of the hon. Minister of Industry is not very clear. The statement does not say anything about the transfer of the HCL to the Ministry of Communications.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Dr. Reddy, if you do not cooperate with me, I will go to the next subject. Please take your seat. Now, the Labour Minister will speak.

श्रम मंत्री (डा. सत्यनारायण जटिया): माननीय सभापति जी, इस समस्या पर जैसी चिन्ता जतायी गई है, नश्िचत रूप से वह गम्भीर है। जहां-जहां इस प्रकार के स्टैटयूटरी डयूज थे, हमारी मनिस्ट्री ने वहां की स्िथति का पूरा अवलोकन करके एक चार्ट बनाया। स्टैटयूटरी डयूज में उनके वेजिस, प्राविडैंट फंड, पैंशन, ग्रैच्युटी है। हम डयूज पर लगातार निगाह रखने और कार्यवाही करने का काम कर रहे हैं। चीफ प्राविडेंट फंड कमिश्नर और रीजनल लेबर कमिश्नर इस बात को देखते हैं। उन्होंने इस बारे में कार्यवाही करना शुरु कर दिया है। उन्होंने कहा कि सरकार की तरफ मजदूरों का जो हिस्सा है, वह देने का काम होना चाहिए। हमने ऐसी कार्यवाही करनी शुरु कर दी है। श्री बसुदेव आचार्य : उन्होंने ऐसा सरकार के खिलाफ कहा है।”> डा.सत्यनारायण जटिया : उन्होंने सरकार से मांग की है। सरकार के खिलाफ सरकार नहीं हो सकती। हमने कहा कि उन्हें डयूज देने चाहिएं। हमने इस बारे में कार्यवाही शुरु कर दी है। स्िथति की गम्भीरता को देखते हुए जुलाई, १९९७ में ग्रुप ऑफ मनिस्टर्स की एक कमेटी गठित हुई थी लेकिन संसद भंग होने के कारण रिपोर्ट नहीं आई। हमारी मनिस्ट्री और सैक़ेट्रीज कैबिनेट नोट तैयार कर रहे हैं जिससे कर्मचारियों के डयूज का भुगतान समय पर हो सकेगा। हम ऐसा प्रस्ताव तैयार कर रहे हैं। स्िथति पर निगाह रखने की दृष्िट से जो बहुत सी बातें हो रही है, हमने उनका हिसाब लगाना भी शुरु कर दिया है। जो डयूज निरन्तर बढ़ते जा रहे हैं, हम उनका आकलन करके संबंधित मंत्रालयों से कह रहे हैं कि वे सारे डयूज का भुगतान करने के उपाय करे। इसका बजट में भी प्रावधान किया गया है। जो भुगतान हमारे मंत्रालय से संबंधित हैं, आशा है हम उनका भुगतान कर देंगे। कार्यवाही करने के काम में श्रम मंत्रालय पीछे नहीं रहेगा।”> सूचना और प्रसारण मंत्री तथा संचार मंत्री (श्रीमती सुषमा स्वराज): सभापति महोदय, हालांकि इस ध्यानाकर्षण प्रस्ताव का नोटिस सभी सार्वजनिक उपक़मों के कर्मचारियों को वेतन न देने के बारे में दिया गया था लेकिन चूंकि विशेष जोर हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स लमिटेड को दिया गया है, जिस का मेरे विभाग से भी सम्बन्ध है, इसलिए मैं यहां माननीय सदस्यों द्वारा उठाए गए कुछ प्रश्नों का उत्तर देने के लिए खड़ी हूं। सभापति महोदय, मेरे लिए यह एक प्रसन्नता का विषय है कि आप इस समय पीठासीन हैं। आप इस विषय से स्वयं जुड़े रहे हैं। आपने इस विषय को संसद के अन्दर और बाहर भी उठाया, मुझ से व्यकितगत रूप में दो बार मिले और इसके बारे में जानना चाहा। इस बारे में जितने भी माननीय सदस्य मिले, मैंने उन सब को वहां की स्िथति से अवगत कराया। हम इस कम्पनी की मदद करने के लिए आगे बढ़ रहे हैं। मुझे ऐसा आभास भी हुआ कि शायद आप हमारी बात से संतुष्ट भी हुए। यहां कुछ बातें कही गईं। भास्कर राव जी ने अपने प्रारम्िभक भाषण में जो बातें कहीं, वे शत-प्रतिशत सत्य हैं कि हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स को ऑर्डर्स टेलीकम्युनिकेशन सैंटर से मिलते थे लेकिन बीच में एक सरकार ने नीति बदली। लिबरलाइजेशन का एक फेज आया जिस में केबल इंडस्ट्री प्राइवेट कम्पनी हो गई। हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स कोई कैपटिव यूनिट नहीं रह गई है। डिपार्टमैंट ऑफ टेलिकम्युनिकेशन सभी को ऑर्डर देने लगा और उनसे केबल लेने लगा। शायद देखा जाए तो इस कम्पनी के सिक रहने का यही एक प्रमुख कारण रहा है।

15.00 hrs. सभापति महोदय, मैं कहना चाहती हूं कि श्री बसुदेव आचार्य उस सरकार को समर्थन देते रहे हैं और आगे भी समर्थन देने की बात करते हैं। कई बार कह चुके हैं कि यदि कांग्रेस की सरकार बनी तो उसे सर्मथन देंगे। यह नीति शायद उन्ही के समय की बनी हुई है। श्री आचार्य इस बात को मानेंगे कि केवल हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स ही दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण कम्पनी नहीं है बल्िक उस नीति के चलते जिसमें प्राईवेटाईजेशन के नाम पर या बाहर से आयात किया गया या यहां से प्राईवेट इंडस्ट्री को इस तरह के आर्डर दिये गये, ऐसी बहुत सी दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण कम्पनियों के दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण मज़दूर हाथ फैलाये खड़े हैं। श्री बसुदेव आचार्य (बांकुरा) : वे नीतियां बदल दें। श्रीमती सुषमा स्वराज : हम तो कर ही रहे हैं। जब आप हमारी आगे बात सुनेंगे तो कहेंगे। मगर उसी नीति को चलाने वालों को आप समर्थन देते हैं और कहते हैं कि उनकी सरकार बनी तो समर्थन देंगे।

… (व्यवधान)

MR. CHAIRMAN : Hon. Members, please hear the Minister first. Shri Basu Deb Acharia, please hear the Minister first. श्री बसुदेव आचार्य : हम उस नीति का समर्थन नहीं करते हैं। हम चाहते हैं कि उस नीति में परिवर्तन करें।

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let there be no cross-talk please. There are many issues to be taken up. The Minister is giving the reply. Please cooperate. श्री प्रभुनाथ सिंह (महाराजगंज): सभापति महोदय, अगर उस नीति को बदल दिया जाये तो कया श्री आचार्य समर्थन देगे?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please sit down. It is a most important issue that we are discussing now. श्री विलास मुत्तेमवार (नागपुर) : सभापति जी, मंत्री जी ने जो जवाब दिया है, उससे माननीय सदस्य संतुष्ट नहीं हैं। कया माननीय सुषमा जी कोई नई बात करने जा रही हैं या उसे राजनीति में पलट कर बात खत्म करने जा रही हैं?

… (´ªÉ´ÉvÉÉxÉ) .. +É{É ®úÉVÉxÉÒÊiÉ EòÒ ¤ÉÉiÉ EªÉÉäÆ Eò®ú ®ú½þÒ ½þèÆ? =ºÉÒ ¨ÉÖqä {É®ú +É<ǪÉä*

MR. CHAIRMAN: Why are you rising every time? Please sit down. The Minister is giving the reply.

श्रीमती सुषमा स्वराज : मुत्तेमवार जी, मैं राजनीति की बात नहीं कर रही हूं। सभापति जी, मैं तथ्यों को रख रही हूं। मुझे समझ में नहीं आता हमारे वामपंथी भाईयों को सच सुनने का माद्दा कयों नहीं है? यह सच्चाई है कि सच कड़वा होता है लेकिन आपको सुनना तो पड़ेगा। आखिरकार हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स की ऐसी दुर्दशा होने की नौबत कयों आई? अगर आप मुझसे यह उम्मीद करते हैं कि मैं उसे ठीक करूं तो कारण बताकर ही उसका निदान कहूंगी। यदि कोई मरीज़ डाकटर के पास जायेगा तो डाकटर मरीज के लक्षण बताकर ही कहेगा कि इस बीमारी की नौबत कयों आई और वह कयों बीमार पड़ा? तब डाकटर अंदर जाकर देखेगा कि वाकई वह बीमार है और फिर दवा की बात करेगा। आप मुझे कहेंगे कि डाकटर दवा दे दो जबकि हमें पता नहीं हम बीमार कयों पडे? … (व्यवधान).. आप मेरी बात तो सुनिये.. श्री विलास मुत्तेमवार : कया आप डाकटर हैं?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Shri Baalu, let there be no cross-talk please. श्रीमती सुषमा स्वराज : मुझे डाकटर के रूप में आपने खड़ा किया है। डाकटर दवा देने से पहले दवा लेने के लिये सलाह देता है।

MR. CHAIRMAN: This is a Calling Attention Notice that we have taken up. Please sit down.

… (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Nothing will go on record except the Minister’s speech. There are many issues that we have to take up. We have to take up two Bills and also matters under Rule 377.

(Interruptions)* श्रीमती सुषमा स्वराज : सभापति जी, श्री आचार्य इस बात के लिये साक्षी हैं कि जब तक ये नीतियां चलती रहीं, हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स लि. को डिपार्टमेंट ऑफ टेलीकम्युनिकेशन्स अपने आर्डर देते रहा है और यह कम्पनी बहुत उम्दा कम्पनी के रूप में कार्य करती रही है। ऐसा हश्र न केवल हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स का हुआ बल्िक आई.टी.आई. का भी हुआ। इसके अलावा और भी कई कम्पनियों का नाम गिना सकती हूं जिनका ऐसा हश्र हुआ। सभापति महोदय, मैं कोपू के मैम्बर के नाते इसको एग्ज़ामिन करती रही हूं और तमाम चीज़ों को कहती रही हूं कि किस कारण से यह कम्पनी सिक हुई..

MR. CHAIRMAN: The Minister is giving the reply. Please cooperate. श्रीमती सुषमा स्वराज : आखिरकार किस कारण यह कम्पनी सिक हुई या होने जा रही है, मुझे और आपको मालूम है। श्री भास्कर राव जी ने एक बात कही कि डिपार्टमेंट ऑफ टैलीकम्युनिकेशन्स इसको आर्डर नहीं देता जो सत्य से परे है। मैं इससे संबंधित कुछ आंकड़े आपके सामने रखना चाहूंगी। डी.ओ.टी. ने इसको आर्डर देना बंद नहीं किया। सन् १९९३-९४ में ४४.११ का, १९९४-९५ में ६४.६७ का, १९९५-९६ में ३९.१८ का, १९९६-९७ में १९.९८ का और १९९७-९८ में ३२.७७ का आर्डर इन्होंने दिया है।

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*Not Recorded. मैं आपको बताऊं कि यह ऑर्डर नहीं दिया। इस कंपनी की मदद करने के लिए डी.ओ.टी. ने जो आम टेण्डर की कंडीशन्स हैं, उनसे डिपार्चर करके भी ऑर्डर दिये। डी.ओ.टी. ने जो अर्नेस्ट मनी डिपॉज़िट होता है, जिस पर हम बल देते हैं प्राइवेट बिडर को कि आपको तो देना ही है, हमने हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स को ऑर्डर देते समय उस पर भी बल नहीं दिया। परफॉर्मेंस बेस्ड गारंटी को जनरली हमने वेव ऑफ किया है हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स लमिटेड के संदर्भ में। टेण्डर से अलग जाकर अडहॉक ऑर्डर १९९६-९७ में भी ५० परसेंट का एडवांस देकर ९.४ लाख कंडकटर किलोमीटर का ऑर्डर हमने हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स को दिया है। इसलिए यह कहना कि डी.ओ.टी. ने हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स को ऑर्डर देना बंद कर दिया, इसके कारण यह कंपनी सिक हुई है, यह सही नहीं है। बल्िक अगर इसके विपरीत मैं बताऊं, हम लोगों की दिककत है कि हमारे दिये हुए ऑर्डर्स की सप्लाई भी हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स ने पूरी नहीं की और मैं इसके आंकड़े रखना चाहूंगी। १९९३-९४ में ४४.११ के अगेन्स्ट हमें सप्लाई ४१.८१ की मिली। १९९४-९५ में ६४.६७ के अगेन्स्ट सप्लाई ६१.९४ की मिली। १९९५-९६ में भी ३९.१८ के बजाय सप्लाई २५.०८ की मिली और १९९७-९८ में ३२.७७ के अगेन्स्ट सप्लाई १८.८८ की मिली। उसके बाद लगभग १३५ और हम लोगों का ऑर्डर बकाया पड़ा था जिसमें से एक का ऑर्डर हमने कम किया। आज भी १२ पॉइंट से ऊपर का ऑर्डर बकाया पड़ा है। मैं आपसे कहना चाहती हूं कि मेरी कोई जवाबदेही, मनिस्ट्री ऑफ टॆलीकम्यूनिकेशन्स की जवाबदेही उस जनता जनता के प्रति भी है जो उससे टेलीफोन की डिमांड करती है। इसी संसद में सवाल उठते हैं कि आपने जो डिमांड की थी उसको पूरा कयों नहीं किया। अगर उसमें मैं यह कहूं कि हमको केबल्स की सप्लाई एच.सी.एल. ने नहीं की, इसलिए हम अपना टार्गॆट पूरा नहीं कर सके तो कया माननीय संसद सदस्य संतुष्ट हो जाएंगे? अगर मैं कहूं कि हमने एच.सी.एल. को बचाने के लिए ऑर्डर दिया और सप्लाई पूरी न होने के बाद हमने ऑर्डर जारी रखे, तो कया डी.ओ.टी. के खिलाफ सी.ए.जी. पैरा नहीं बनेगा और इन तमाम चीजों में डी.ओ.टी. को बचाने कौन आएगा? इसलिए हमें एक संतुलन बैठाना है। इतनी कठिनाइयां होने के बावजूद हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स रिवाइव हो और हमारी मदद उसमें लगे, इसकी तरफ हम बढ़ रहे हैं। उद्योग मंत्रालय और मनिस्ट्री औफ टेलीकम्यूनिकेशनेस के हाई ऑफशियल्स की मीटिंग हुई है। स्वयं सेक़ेटरी टेलीकॉम और सेक़ेटरी हैवी इंडस्ट्रीज़ श्री शंकर और श्री गोकक के बीच में मीटिंग हुई है। बाकायदा एक वर्िकंग ग्रुप का गठन हुआ है। उसने बाकायदा एक एम.ओ.यू. ड़ाफट करने के लिए भेजा है जो कि डिपार्टमेंट में इस समय ज़ेरेगौर है, विचाराधीन है। कुछ चीजें एच.सी.एल. से मांगी हैं जो उन्होंने भेजी हैं। उन्होंने स्वयं लखित में स्वीकार किया कि आपके द्वारा दिये गए ऐडवांस का पैसा चूंकि सेलेरीज़ में दे दिया गया, इसलिए जो रॉ मैटीरियल आना था, उसके लिए रॉ मैटीरियल वाले को हम पैसा नहीं दे सके, इसलिए हम आपकी सप्लाइज़ पूरी नहीं कर सके। आप बताइए कि एक तरफ हमदर्दाना रुख रखते हुए भी कि हिन्दुस्तान केबल्स रिवाइव हो, कया इस तरह की चीजों को हम स्वीकार कर सकते हैं कि जो पैसा हम सप्लाई ऑर्डर के लिए दें, उन पैसों से तनख्वाह दे दी जाए और रॉ मैटीरियल न मंगाया जाए और उसके कारण हमारी सप्लाई न हो? इसलिए तमाम चीजें मैंने आपके सामने रखी थीं। मैं आपको कह रही हूं कि इतनी तमाम दिककतें होने के बावजूद हम लोगों ने ऑर्डर देने जारी रखे और जैसा मनिस्ट्री ऑफ इंडस्ट्री ने बाद में कहा, बहुत ऐकिटव कंसिडरेशन हम दोनों आपस मे मिलकर कर रहे हैं। मनिस्ट्री ऑफ इंडस्ट्री के स्टेट मनिस्टर स्वयं मेरे पास मिलने आए थे जहां अधिकारियों के साथ मीटिंग हुई। बसुदेव जी यह न समझें कि एक मीटिंग होकर मामला खत्म हो गया। आपकी और मेरी मुलाकात के बाद भी अलग-अलग स्तरों पर चार-पांच बैठकें हो चुकी हैं। हम लोगों की तरफ से किसी तरह की कोताही नहीं है, लेकिन रास्ता निकालने दीजिए। हम रास्ता निकालने के लिए आगे बढ़ रहे हैं। एच.सी.एल. सिक कंपनी होकर न पड़े, इनके मज़दूरों को हाथ फैलाने न पड़ें, ये सड़क पर न आ जाएं, इसके लिए डिपार्टमेंट ऑफ टेलीकम्यूनिकेशन्स की जिस तरह की भी मदद मनिस्ट्री ऑफ इंडस्ट्री हमसे चाह रही है, उसकी बात हम कर रहे हैं। लेकिन आपको भी सोचना पड़ेगा कि अगर हमारी सप्लाइज़ नहीं होंगी, आज भी ३८ करोड़ का ऐडवांस एच.सी.एल. के पास हमारा पड़ा है जिसके अगेन्स्ट सप्लाई नहीं हुई है और उन्होंने लिखकर दिया है कि पूरा वर्िकंग नेटवर्क इरोड हो गया है। इन तमाम दिककतों से रास्ता निकालने का एक संकल्प हमने किया है तो मैं चाहूंगी कि माननीय सांसद हम पर विश्वास करें और रास्ता निकालने के लिए आगे बढ़ने दें।

*m09

DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY (VISAKHAPATNAM): Sir, I want to seek a clarification “>from the hon. Minister Shrimati Sushma Swaraj. The Calling Attention has two parts: the first one is about the salaries, and the second one is about the transfer of the Hindustan Cables Limited from the control of the Ministry of Industry to that of the Ministry of Communications…(Interruptions)

SHRIMATI SUSHMA SWARAJ: It is over. After the Minister’s reply, he wants to seek a clarification. Is it allowed?…(Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN : Dr. Reddy, you should seek a clarification from the Minister. That is all.

DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY : Madam, we were listening to you with patience. You should also listen to us when we are seeking clarifications. You have clarified to the House that the Ministry of Communications has been extending a lot of help to the Hindustan Cables Limited. The Hindustan Cables Limited is one of the best public sector undertakings in the country. But what you have to clarify is this. According to reliable information, before the Ministry of Communications was giving order to all the other manufacturers, it was giving full business orders to the Hindustan Cables Limited. They were very perfect in executing orders and were all right. They were very successful and a growing concern. But for the last few years, because you are having the open tender system, you could not give full business orders to the Hindustan Cables Limited. Perhaps they were depending on you. They could not do it without your help. But here the important matter is that the workers should not suffer because of the stand taken by you, because of the policy change, and the philosophy which you adopt. Now, what they want is salary and other benefits. When the Hindustan Cables Limited is transferred to your Ministry from the Heavy Industries Department, naturally, it becomes your own pet child. But nobody gives milk to the pet child! Hence, you should look after the company so that the pet child survives. Then, in turn, the workers will also get the benefits and they will be happy.

The most important thing is that even though the public sector undertakings are suffering, the HCL is doing well. There are some good companies like the Hidustan Cables Limited even though they are suffering. Now, you have to help the workers. I would like to know at what stage the discussion is going on between the Minister of Heavy Industries and the Minister of Communications. Is it possible to shift it? Is it possible to again inject a new life and blood into the Hindustan Cables Limited? This is my question. I want a clarification on this aspect. This is a part of my Calling Attention. Sir, even though I came late, you allowed me. I thank you for that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: This part of your question was already answered by the hon. Minister. It is on record. It is over.

Now, the House will take up Matters under Rule 377.

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