July 19, 2019
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy speaks on Govt’s decision to divest itself from the profitable Bengal Chemicals
Sir, the day before yesterday, the Government had announced the disinvestment of Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited, which was the first Indian company engaged in the manufacturing of quality chemicals, and drugs and pharmaceuticals, including anti-snake venom, chemicals for domestic use, etc. and employing indigenous technology, skill and raw materials. It was set up by Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy, an eminent scientist of this country, in 1901 when the Swadeshi Movement was going on. It was the first Indian pharmaceutical company.
Sir, the company which was reeling under a severe crisis in the past, has now been earning profits for the last four to five successive years. In the last fiscal, it earned a profit of Rs 25 crore. If the current trend of making profits continues, then by 2023 the company will turn into a Miniratna company after liquidating all its liabilities. So this is the situation.
Hence I fail to understand why a profit-making company is going to be divested. Is it because of the huge tract of prime land that the company has in Kolkata? I do not know, but last year a single Bench of the Calcutta High Court had ruled against the sale of this company. The Government’s appeal is pending. During the pendency of this appeal, the Government has announced again, the day before yesterday, in fact, the decision of disinvestment of this company.
My apprehension is that the decision has been made only to grab the prime land that the company owns and sell it. So through you, Sir, I call upon the Government to desist itself from disinvesting from this prime pharmaceutical company of the country which was set up during the Swadeshi Movement. It should not be treated like the other 42 PSUs which are going to be disinvested by the Government.
Thank you, Sir.