Srinagar: The families of over 500-employees working in Jammu and Kashmir Cement Limited are passing through trying times in the present Covid-19 lockdown as the Corporation has failed to pay their salaries for last 14 months.
The insiders told news agency KINS that there are around 550 employees working with the Corporation and nobody has received salary since almost 14 months. The factory has an installed capacity of 1200 metric tons per day and produces 700 tons of cement on average.
The employees accused Corporation of inflicting miseries on their families by withholding salaries. “My pockets have dried up, and I am unable to make both ends meet. The coldhearted response of authorities is taking a toll on our families,” an employees of the Corporation told KINS.
The employees lamented that they are unable to pay off their debts as their savings have exhausted. “Some of us even sold the jewelry of our wives to run their families. Others have got into debt,” another employee said.
He added that in the present lockdown situation some families are worst affected as they are unable to even by essential items.
To worsen things for the employees the Corporation has not deposited their provident fund despite deducting it from their salaries.
The Corporation has accumulated heavy loses over the last five-seven years and that is the reason behind its inability to release salaries. The Corporation was a profit making till the financial year 2012-13.
However, the loss suffered by the Corporation, a top official said, is mainly due to the mismanagement. “It is a golden mine. The reason behind its downfall is official apathy,” an official said.
The corporation was once a profitable Public Sector undertaking in the State.
The insiders of the corporation appealed LG GC Murmu to intervene into the matter as early as possible so that hundreds of families are not adversely affected.
The insiders said that they have approached the Management many times, but they always responded by saying that the corporation has no funds for salaries.
“Although the company faced so many ups and downs from past many years but the present situation is very worrying. The employees are very worried and feel their future is insecure” they said.
JKCL has a monopoly on sale and supply of cement to government funded projects and departments. As per government orders, the state agencies have to give first preference to JKCL for purchase of cement.
It is to mention here that the Advisor KK Sharma in Board meeting had said that Government was working on a mechanism to ensure that the JK Cements which was once one of the premier public sector enterprises would regain its glory.
The Advisor had directed the officers of JKCL to come up with a prospective and holistic plan to ensure better utilisation of human resource besides ensuring diversification of activities and better marketing of the cement produce at local and national level.
He had said that the PSUs should come up with proposals that should in clear terms specify how they are going to finance their future activities.
Managing Director Ishtiyaq Drabu when contacted admitted that the 13 months’ salary of employees is pending. “We have released their one month salary. We have submitted 50 crore revival proposal to the government which is under active consideration,” the MD told KINS and added that the corporation has also recommended 4 months’ salary in the revival plan.