Despite being perennially unprofitable and a drain on the state exchequer, Sohra MDC Titosstarwell Chyne today said that the state-owned Mawmluh Cherra Cement Ltd (MCCL) could be turned around were it not for its “incompetent management” and should remain a publicly-owned company if that is what the community wants.
Chyne, who is also the Chief Executive Member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, said this while speaking about the possibility of the government drawing in private firms to partner with the struggling MCCL. He was of the opinion that the government should only move towards privatization (either in full or in part) if it had the full consent of all concerned stakeholders, a practically impossible demand.
“Even if the government is right (about a joint venture) the people there (in Sohra) still want MCCL to be run by the government,” Chyne stated.
He went on to say that the company has only failed in the past few years because of poor management decisions, such as procuring materials and machinery years before they could be used, leading to their becoming spoiled, and a change in the method of processing that went awry because MCCL did not consult experts.
The poor financial position of the company has meant that its employees have not been paid a salary for 15 months, which Chyne said was intolerable during the difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As a representative of the region I stand by the people and urge the government to release the salaries of the employees at the earliest,” he said, adding that he would meet Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on the matter when the latter returns from his travels outside the state.