Kolkata, Feb 27 (IANS) The West Bengal assembly on Saturday passed two bills to take over management control of ailing industrial units Dunlop and Jessop, both run by the Pawan Ruia Group.
State Industries and Commerce Minister Amit Mitra tabled the Dunlop India Limited (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Bill, 2016 and Jessop and Company Limited (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Bill, 2016 in the assembly and both were subsequently were passed by voice vote.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday had announced in the assembly of the state government’s decision to take over engineering firm Jessop and tyre maker Dunlop India.
“Thousands of employees of the company have not got their dues over substantial period of time and are in acute financial distress. The purpose of the takeover was to subserve the interest of general public,” says the statement of object and reasons of both the bills.
India’s oldest engineering company, the 228-year old Jessop has in the past built iconic structures like the Howrah Bridge and the Vidyasagar Bridge over the Hooghly.
Founded in 1788 as Breen and Company, the firm was re-christened Jessop in 1820. The central government took over its management in 1958 and then the company as a whole in 1973. Over the years, the company turned loss-making. In 2003, the government sold its 72 percent stake to Pawan Ruia, who heads the Ruia Group. Ruia turned it into a profit making business within a short time.
However, over the years, it fell into tough times.
Ruia ventured into the tyre industry in 2005 by buying Dunlop India Ltd from Manohar Rajaram Chhabria’s family in late 2005.
Both of Dunlop’s plants at Sahagunj in Hooghly district and Ambattur in Tamil Nadu are shut for quite some time.
The Ruia Group had tried to open both Jessop and Dunlop from time to time, but could not sustain the tempo for long.