The Jammu and Kashmir Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited (SICOP), is once again in the news for wrong reasons. The SIDCO which was assigned the task of helping in accelerating the growth of Industries in the state, it seems is failing the very objective it was established to achieve.
Various issues pertaining to the SIDCO have been surfacing over the past few months and the gross irregularities have come up much to the annoyance of those who have pinned high hopes from the Industry promotion body.
The SIDCO has been violating various norms which includes shifting of machinery from proposed places and exceeding the land allotment limits. Both these issues have surfaced because it is believed that gross violation of laws and regulations have taken place while taking such decisions.
The officials of SIDCO had to do a lot of explaining before the Sub-Committee on Public Undertakings of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. The Sub-Committee meeting which was chaired by MLA Raja Manzoor Ahmed with two other legislators Rajeev Sharma and Abdul Majeed Larmi participating in the meeting.
What has come to fore is that the Sub-Committee held detailed discussions on the present status of excess land at IID Centre Govindsar in Kathua. Though the officials of the SIDCO contended that the land has been allotted by the Apex Committee headed by the Chief Secretary and that it is the prerogative of the Apex Committee to allot land as per Project Report involving investment to the tune of Rs 50 crore with an aim to create greater employment opportunities in the State.
The Sub- Committee also took cognizance of reports regarding violation of rules by the Corporation (SICOP) in shifting the machinery from proposed places.
The MD, SICOP maintained and clarified his stand saying that the machinery installed in the Common Facility Centre, Zakura are beyond the scope of utilization due to high running cost involved and the machinery is lying un-utilized from last four years.
What is being said is that the issue was taken up with Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department for obtaining approval for shifting of machinery from Zakura to JKI after discussing the matter with concerned association members who showed their willingness if the machinery is put to use to save public assets.
Whatever be the reasons and the issues, we need to know as to why action is not being initiated against SIDCO for violation of norms and secondly, why is the government silent on the issue of letting the machinery consumed by rust and no efforts were initiated to get the machines up and running.
The issues need to be probed as the government money was involved in purchasing the machinery and this move has not only left the exchequer at a loss but has left various workers jobless.