Hindustan Cables Limited (HCL), a Government of India Undertaking, under the Ministry of Heavy Industries was pioneer in the field of telecom cables in India. 100% of it’s equity capital is held by the President of India.
The Company was set up at Rupnarainpur, West Bengal in 1952 to manufacture various types of telecom cables. The Company had grown from a single unit, single product organisation to multi-unit, multi-product entity with units located at Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, Naini Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and Rupnarainpur in West Bengal. The Company took over management of Machine Tool Works, Narendrapur in Calcutta from Cycle Corporation of India in 1984.
The main product of the Company was Jelly filled and Fibre optic cables. It had one of the largest capacities of 120 Lac conductor kilometers (LCKM) of Jelly filled cables. Manufacturing capacity for fibre optic cables was 40,000 fibre kilometers (FKM) per annum. The Company’s Turnkey Project Division (TKP) of the Company was engaged in execution of external plant network for DOT/MTNL. The main object of TKP Division was design of external cable network system, connecting cable network through exchanges and interfacing with major trunk routes.
During the decade of 1990s due to globalization, liberalization and privatization of Indian economy, many private entities entered in the business of manufacture of telephone cables. As a result there was manifold increase in competition with competitors from private sector and market price of products manufactured by the Company started to decline. Consequently, the Company started to show initial symptoms of financial sickness.
The company incurred financial losses in every year with effect from 1995-96 till its closure. Further there was excess manpower for Company’s scale of production in comparison to the private entities. Due to acute financial sickness, the company was referred to BIFR in the year 2002 and it was registered with BIFR in 2003 vide case 505/2002.
There was total stoppage of production and no internal generation of fund in the company since 2004 due to complete obsolescence of its products arising out of advent of wireless technology.
Due to non availability of internal resources, the salary, wages and statutory dues could not be paid to the employees for months together and these were paid after receipt of non-plan budgetary support from Government of India in the form of interest bearing loan based on CCEA approval.
The Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 28.09.2016, inter alia, approved closure of the company and release of all its employees under VRS/VSS. Accordingly, all the employees were released on 31.1.2017 after payment of compensation sanctioned by the Union Cabinet and plant and machinery were also disposed of in consonance with the approval of the Union Cabinet. The appropriate government authority granted permission on 31.05.2017 for closure of the company u/s 25(O) of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
At present HCL is trying to dispose of it ‘s immovable assets viz. 947 acres of acquired land at Rupnarainpur, West Bengal and 324 acres of acquired land at Hyderabad, Telangana, 4 flats at Kolkata, 7 flats at Allahabad & an apartment at New Delhi through Alternative Mechanism under the framework of DIPAM. Some of these assets are litigated and some require approval from State Government for sale or transfer.
Currently there is no business activity and HCL is trying to complete the formalities for liquidation /winding up as directed. HCL is now closed and in a non-operating stage with no plant, machinery or employee or outsourced functionary.