Approval for improved Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for the employees of Hooghly Dock & Port Engineers Limited and restructuring of the company through Joint Venture (JV)
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved the introduction of an improved Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for the employees of Hooghly Dock & Port Engineers Limited (HDPEL) and restructuring of the company through a Joint Venture (JV). The improved VRS package is based on IDA 2007 linked pay scale. The improved VRS Scheme would be open for three months with a provision of extension by another one month. After the implementation of the improved VRS, JV formation with the private sector would be attempted failing which the company would be disinvested.
Implementation of the improved VRS package would substantially reduce the manpower of HDPEL and would help in downsizing. Thereafter, HDPEL would become amenable to re-structuring.
The current VRS package is at the old pre-revised scale, therefore, implementation of an improved VRS package would provide better retirement benefits to the HDPEL employees who opt for it. This decision will take care of employees’ welfare as well as prevent recurrent loss to the public exchequer.
The HDPEL was established in 1819. Subsequently, in 1973, it merged with Port Engineering Works, which had been under the control of Andrew Yule Ltd. The Company was nationalized in 1984 as per the Hooghly Dock & Engineer Company (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Act, 1984 and was renamed as Hooghly Dock & Port Engineers Ltd. The HDPEL has two units, one in Salkia and another in Nazirgunge located on the banks of the Hooghly River. However, both units of the company have been suffering heavy losses.