Obituary of a PSU: Defence PSU BEML to shut down subsidiary VIL

  • Vignyan Industries Limited (VIL) is the subsidiary of Defence PSU Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML)

  • BEML is set to shut down VIL as per the mandate of the govt

New Delhi/ Chikkamagaluru: "Transforming the organisation to be a global leader in the manufacturing and supply of Ferrous Castings primarily to the earth moving equipment industry and generally to all industries in the automotive sector, " how do you feel when you read these words written about a company? Full of ambition? Full of hope? Well, naturally! These are the emotions a company's vision statement is supposed to arouse. However, these words are nothing but a hollow script in the case of Vigyan Industries Limited (VIL). VIL is a subsidiary company of Defence PSU Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML). BEML is now set to shut down VIL, which is set to result in job losses for hundreds. The decision has triggered anxiety and uncertainty among VIL employees as their future has been left in the lurch.

VIL was originally named Bhadravathy Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited (VISL). It was founded in 1963 by two friends, Duggappa, an engineer in the Bhadravathy Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited (VISL), and his friend Somshekarappa in Tarikere, using crowdfunding and personal investments. VIL got its name in 1966. VIL was a Steel Casting Foundry, which specialised in churning out components for Earth Moving Machinery, Valves, Die Casting Machines, Ropeways, Automobiles and for Railways. Earlier, VIL was a Captive Foundry to BEML alone and later it extended its supplies to important customers like HMT, BHEL, KCPL, HML, Indian Railways, among others. Off late, VIL had diversified its production into Ductile Iron Castings. And now, since BEML has to be disinvested, so all the companies, especially loss-making ones are being shut down. VIL had reported a loss of Rs 56.52 lakh in 2018-19.

VIL Majdoor Sangha secretary GS Satyanarayan said while speaking to a newspaper that those who had invested lakhs of rupees will be on the streets and lives of regular and contractual workers will be in jeopardy. Majdoor Sangh has demanded that all the regular workers of VIL should be transferred to BEML. The VIL administration has maintained that all companies running under BEML, including VIL, will be closed as per the government’s order and it is contemplating suitable compensation for employees.

Last week, BEML had said in a regulatory filing that the "Ministry of Defence (MoD) intimated that the competent authority has accorded 'in-principle' approval for closure of Vignyan Industries, Tarikere, a subsidiary of BEML".

PSU Watch has tried to reach out to authorities about the details of the compensation packages being awarded to employees and this story will be updated as soon as a response is received from BEML.

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