By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accorded its approval for waiver of repayment of loan of Rs.54 lakh and interest thereon, amounting to Rs.370.40 lakh, totalling Rs. 424.40 lakh plus the amount of interest that will accrue on total amount, from 01.04.2019 till this approval outstanding against the Sikkim Mining Corporation.Further accumulation of interest on principal loan will get extinguished and the liquidation process of the Corporation will get completed.
Sikkim Mining Corporation (SMC) was established on the 27th February, 1960 as Joint Venture undertaking of Government of Sikkim and Government of India. It was incurring losses every year since its inception. To optimise the financial health of the Corporation, a Consultant was engaged in 1999 which inter alia suggested diversification of activities of the Corporation and also strengthening of technical staff in conjunction with retrenchment of excess manpower at lower levels.
However, keeping in view the recurring losses incurred by the Corporation since its very inception, recommendation of Accountant General of Sikkim, and advice tendered by the erstwhile Planning Commission both the partners of JVC (State and Central Government) engaged a Consultant to spell out a road map for the future of the Corporation in 2003. On the basis of report of the consultant & 107th Report of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of State Legislative Assembly of Sikkim, State and Central Governments took joint decision to close down the mining operations of the Corporation and to settle all its dues and liabilities.
Consequently, mining operations of the Corporation at Bhotang and Phachey Khani mines were closed down with effect from 01.01.2007. Liabilities towards VRS etc of employees of the corporation were settled from the amount release by erstwhile Planning Commission (Rs.3.41 crore) and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (Rs.2.51 crore).
Liabilities of the Corporation to the tune of Rs.685.60 lakhs towards the State Government of Sikkim were waived off by the State Government of Sikkim. An amount of Rs. 11.21 lakh accrued from sale of scraps of machineries of the corporation was returned to Government of India.