The Executive Committee of Mawmluh Dorbar, in an emergent meeting on Tuesday, reiterated its previous stand on the Mawmluh Cherra Cements Limited (MCCL) issue, stating that the state government should continue to run the company and ruled out the idea of public-private-partnership (PPP) arrangement.
The Executive Dorbar expressed its discontent on what it called the delaying tactics of the government, which has remained silent since the talks with the representatives from Mawmluh Sirdarship and Hima Sohra on July 22. There was no categorical resolution taken in that meeting.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and others from the government had mooted the idea of a joint venture or PPP model for scaling up the ailing cement company but no conclusive decision was taken.
During the July meeting, the chief minister had requested the stakeholders to ponder on the options discussed, while assuring that the government would study the points proposed by the stakeholders.
What now came as a surprise to the Mawmluh Sirdarship is to be informed that during the board meeting on September 29 last, the Directors representing Mawmluh Sirdarship and Hima Sohra were informed that the July 22 meeting had taken a final decision to go for a joint venture or PPP mode, and that the participants from both Mawmluh Sirdarship and Hima Sohra had accepted that proposal.
The Acting Sirdar of Mawmluh rejected the government proposal and said that it was a conspiracy to sell off the interests of the public sector to private players.
The Executive Dorbar of Mawmluh Sirdarship has, therefore, urged the government to re-examine the issue by viewing it from all angles. “In case the government decides to bulldoze its way into doing what is against the interest of the public at large, the people of Mawmluh Sirdarship will be compelled to stage legitimate modes of agitation,” JS Rajee, Acting Sirdar of Mawmluh, said.
It may be mentioned that the cement company, originally named as Assam Cements Ltd, came into being on May 20, 1955.
After bifurcation of the state, the company was renamed as Mawmluh Cherra Cements Ltd in May, 1974.
Commercial production at the facility started from November 15, 1966. It was a wet process plant and had one kiln of 250 TPD (tonnes per day). With 330 employees, of which 150 are casual workers, the company is overstaffed compared to private cement companies.
The government has had to pump in money time and again to help the company stay afloat. In 2017, the government gave Rs 87 crore to MCCL, which has pending salary amount of roughly Rs 8 crore to pay to the employees. But according to the then local MLA, Titos Chyne, he is unaware how the funds were deployed because the company has not bounced back.
The MCCL is another example of a public sector enterprise that is on the verge of collapse and sources in the government say that as of now, public-private-partnership setup is the only way to save the company.