Saturday, June 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

PSIDC in debt snarl
Standing dues touch Rs 1050 cr
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC) is in a debt-trap of its own creation. Once considered as the harbinger of industrial and economic development, today it is finding it difficult to get out of the snarl. This has become obvious from the presentation made by its Managing Director, Mr Viswajeet Khanna, to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, last week.

A case study of this erstwhile ‘Titanic’ of Punjab’s industry reveals that it still has the potential to bounce back provided the political will prevails. The politico-bureaucratic nexus, sources say, has persistently blocked, for the past six years, the stream of money that could flow into the PSIDC. This was done by denying what is due or overdue to the institution by way of delaying permission for disinvestments in giants like Punjab Tractors Ltd, Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd., Punjab National Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd, Electronic Systems Punjab Ltd, and Punwire. (It has already sunk and a CBI probe has been ordered by the Supreme Court). The PSIDC is also to blame itself for not effecting recovery of loans and equity from the big guns of industry. The defaulters’ list reads like the ‘who’s who’ beneficiaries of the political-bureaucratic nexus.

The presentation to the Chief Minister shows that PSIDC’s outstanding dues are about Rs 1,050 crore, both by way of loans and equity. In the term loan portfolio, against an outstanding sum of about Rs 400 crore, top 20 defaulters owe PSIDC, approximately Rs 135 crore. Likewise, in the equity portfolio, 20 top defaulters alone owe PSIDC about Rs 300 crore out of the total outstanding dues of about Rs 650 crore.

The top 20 defaulters, accounting for more than Rs.300 crore i.e., around 50 per cent of total default, include Mr.R.K.Garg, Steel Strips Group (Rs 64 crore) and his younger brother, Mr.V.K.Garg, Alpha Drug (Rs 3 crore), Mr. Rajinder Gupta, Trident Group and Punjab Spinning Mills (over Rs 25 crore), Rana Gurjit Singh, Rana Polycot (Rs.28 crore), Mr.H.S.Cheema, Cheema Spintex (Rs.26 crore), Mr. Suraj Gupta, Suraj Solvent and Diamond Agro (Rs 26 crore), Mr. Naresh Bhandari, Bhandari Exports (Rs.19 crore), Mr.Diwan Chand Pruthi, Cepham Milk Specialities (Rs 17 crore), Mr. Rajeev Khandelwal, Euro Cotspin (Rs.15 crore), Mr.R.C.Mahajan, once reportedly right hand man of Mr.R.K. Garg and late Mr. Balwant Singh, former Finance Minister, Punjab (Rs.8 crore).

The list also includes political bigwigs like Mr. Vinod Sharma, former Member of Parliament, Piccadilly Group (Rs.10 crore), Mr. Jasjit Singh Dhaliwal, son of Mr.S.S.Barnala, Governor, Uttaranchal Pradesh, Japson Pharmaceuticals (over Rs.8 crore), Ms. Bubli Brar, daughter of Mr. H.S.Brar, Dashmeh Haegans AgroTech (around Rs.6 crore), Mr.Gurinder Singh Kairon, Harpartap Steels (over Rs.10 crore), Late Mr. Brij Bhushan Mehra, Mehra Bio-Chem (Rs.2 crore), Mr. Jaswant Singh Kang, close to former Speaker, Mr. Ravi Inder Singh (Rs.10 crore), Mr. Jaspal Singh Sethi, reportedly close to Mr Arjun Singh, former Governor, Punjab, Amrit Cellulose — erstwhile MP Cellulose — (Rs 6 crore), Dr. B.S.Grewal, nephew of Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, Scanomax India Ltd. (Rs. 5crore), Mr. Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, former Excise and Taxation Minister, son-in-law of Mr Badal and a Director of PSIDC, National Agro Chem (Rs 5 crore).

The defaulting entrepreneurs having links with influential bureaucrats include Mr.Chiranjeev Singh, brother-in-law, of Mr I.S.Bindra, Capcugel India (over Rs 3 crore), Winsome Yarns Ltd. Mr. Bargodia, reportedly close to Mr.T.K.A.Nair, former Chief Secretary (Rs 4.5 crore), Mohan Fibres, Mr Tapeshwar Kumar, close to company Chairman, Mr. P.H.Vaishanav, now Chairman, Disinvestments Commission, Punjab (Rs 3.25 crore), Arihant Group, Mr. Kimti Lal Jain, reportedly close to Mr. Vinod Jain, former Chairman of PSIDC (Rs 3.5 crore), Vee Kay Fibres and Oils, reportedly close to Mr S K Tuteja (Rs.5.00 crore), Altus Organics, Mr. Mummick, with connections reportedly in Vivek High School (Rs 2 crore), Kissan Dhudh Udyog Ltd., Mr. B.S.Mann, former Member of Parliament and brother-in-law of Mr. P.S Bajwa, former Managing Director of PSIDC and Mr. B.S. Rajewal, BKU leader (Rs 3.75 crore), MBS India Ltd., Mr. H.S. Mejie, relation of Mr Badal (Rs 2.2 crore).

Surprisingly, equity default list also includes some of the best running companies like Sportsking (Rs 0.51 crore), GNA Udyog Ltd.(Rs 2 crore) and Sohrab Spinning (Rs 0.50 crore). During the current year, Mr. Ashwani Sekhri, Minister of State for Industries, Abhinav Cotspin, is slated to pay nearly Rs 6 crore (September next). Mr. Rajinder Gupta, Abhishek Spinfab Corp. and Mr.H.S.Cheema, Cheema Spintex, would further owe over Rs 28 crore (February, 2003) and around Rs 27 crore (August, 2002), say sources.

Amongst top 20 defaulters of loan, are also big names and good running industries like Asian Alloys (Rs 12 crore), Thapar Ispat (Rs 12 crore), Krishna Engineering (Rs 11 crore), Kissan Dudh Udyog (Rs 8 crore), Guru Nanak Paper Mills (Rs 7 crore), Ceepham Dairy Development (Rs 6.5 crore), Herman Dairy Development Corporation (Rs.5 crore).

(To be continued)

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |