Bihar to close down 18 sick public enterprises
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Bihar to close down 18 sick public enterprises

Monday, 23 June 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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PATNA: The Bihar government has decided to close down 18 loss-making public sector undertakings (PSUs).

The much-awaited decision was taken at a meeting of the cabinet Friday night presided over by Chief Minister Rabri Devi. But the meeting decided against closing down the 16 remaining boards and corporations that are also in the red.

Last year the government had proposed to wind up all the loss-making public enterprises. But it withdrew the proposal to close the Bihar State Khadi and Village Industries Board in view of opposition from Congress ministers in the government.

It also decided to keep running the Bihar Agriculture Marketing Board, Pollution Control Board, Minority Financial Corporation, Tourism Corporation and Credit and Exchange Corporation, among others.

In May, the Supreme Court had ordered Bihar to deposit 500 million to clear outstanding salary payments to 22,000 employees of state PSUs for nearly a decade. This month the state government deposited half that sum with the Patna High Court. The second instalment will be paid next month, officials said.

The government has decided to pay a one-time financial package as compensation to employees of the units that will be closed down. Under the package, they will get government grants for self-employment, financial help for training and opportunities for re-employment in government service.

Sources said the package would be in the form of a bank loan varying between 40,000 and 1 million. The government would provide up to 15 percent subsidy not exceeding 30,000 against such loans.

Besides, there would be a quota of 20 job percent for employees of closed PSUs in all direct recruitments made by the state government in future. In view of this, they would be given an age relaxation of 15 years.
Source: IANS
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