The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) staff union has
met former Indian prime minister and Janata Dal leader
Vishwanath Pratap Singh and pleaded him to intervene on
the SCI privatisation issue.
according to union secretary Satish Baria, assured the
union of his support and that of members of Parliament.
Singh said they would take up this issue in the next session
of Parliament. Singh said he is not against privatisation,
but corporations connected with the countrys security
should not be privatised. The union also asked Singh to
convince the cabinet and other national leaders of the
need of state control over SCI.
also agreed with the union that SCI is a cash cow for
the government, which is in dire need of money. "It
has been making continuous profits and in the current
year it has given 25 per cent of its net profit as dividends
apart from paying a tax of Rs 172 crore on its profits."
union in its plea to Singh said the government wants to
sell its shares in the company at a throwaway price of
between Rs 500 crore and Rs 600 crore, while the valuation
is not based on proper financial and business considerations.
The union pointed out that the total asset value of the
corporation as on 31 February 2000 is Rs 5,900 crore,
while the liabilities loans on the fleet were Rs 1,488.10
crore. As per the estimate, the current asset value of
40-per cent government shares of the company is Rs 2,360
crore. But the government wants to sell these shares to
just Rs 500 crore to Rs 600 crore.
the financial figures for the last five years show an
impressive annual average turnover and profit of Rs 13,286
crore and Rs 1,580 crore, respectively. In the last five
years, SCI notched up foreign exchange earnings of around
Rs 3,090 core, the union said.
union added: "The employees outgo, including shore
and floating, is only 13 per cent of our turnover, which
is better than international standards of 15 per cent
of the turnover. It means SCIs performance is the best.
The total employee strength of SCI on date is 9,378 (including
the crew) to manage 99 vessels and SCI is also successfully
manning 33 ships of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation."
has already offloaded 18.88 per cent of the governments
shares to financial institutions and mutual funds. Now,
from the remaining 81 per cent, the government wants to
sell off 51 per cent immediately and the remaining 26
per cent in the near future to the bidders and 3 per cent
to the employees.
union said the corporation also owns properties like the
19-storied building (SCI House) near Vidhan Bhavan, Mumbai,
which is a high-security risk area and training centre
spread over 57 acres of prime land at Powai, a Mumbai
suburb. It has 129 ownership flats in the posh localities
of the city and suburbs and similar 250 flats in Kolkata.