The State government is exploring all options of a public-private partnership (PPP) mode to revive the Mawmluh Cherra Cements Limited (MCCL), a government owned public sector undertaking located at Sohra.
Informing this in the Assembly today, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that the government could not revive the MCCL despite having invested over Rs 350 crore.
The MCCL issue was raised by VPP legislator Ardent M. Basaiawmoit during question hour in the House.
In his reply, Sangma said that Rs 100 crore was infused during the last five years to take care of the salaries and dues of the MCCL.
He informed that Rs 11 crore was infused in 2022-23, Rs 30 crore in 2021-22, Rs 6 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 35 crore in 2018-19.
“For the government to continue investing in it may not be possible because we have numerous other expenditures to make and a lot of investments to be done,” Sangma said.
Stating that joint venture is part of the three options that the government is examining, he said the other two options are for the government to continue to invest in the MCCL or to close it down.
“These are the only way out and we are trying to come up with the best solution so that not too much financial stress is put on the government,” he said.
Sangma said that for the interest of the employees and State finances the government is exploring the options of a joint venture partnership to run the cement company.
“However, we are yet to take a decision on the matter,” he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Commerce and Industries Sniawbhalang Dhar informed that the government is still waiting for documents from Bhavika Commercial Private Limited, the company which has expressed interest for a joint venture to run the MCCL.
“Scrutiny is going on and we will take a call after examining the original documents of the company,” he said while informing that MCCL has a total of 280 employees.
Earlier, Basaiawmoit said that going for a joint venture will only put the MCCL at risk.
He suggested that it would be better if the government conducted a comparative statement regarding benefits of local employment between MCCL and private cement companies located in Jaintia Hills.
Basaiawmoit also expressed doubt about the credentials of Bhavika Commercial Private Limited and said that for the financial year ending on 31st March, 2022, the turnover of the private company is under Rs 1 crore.
“Will this company be able to run the MCCL?” he asked.
Basaiawmoit also said that the Chief Minister in his budget speech had said that the State’s own tax revenue for 2023-24 is estimated to increase to Rs 3205 crore while the State non-tax revenue for 2023-24 is expected to reach Rs 742 crore.
“Can’t the government infuse the required equity of Rs 200 crore to revive MCCL and maintain its identity as the public sector undertaking of the Meghalaya government?” he asked.
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