ICCL repays part of default loan
Oct 01, 2002
Business Standard

Turning the table on his detractors, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Charge Chrome Ltd. (ICCL), Bansidhar Panda, claimed that his company has made significant progress in repayments to its term lenders in last two years. ICCL owed over Rs 700 crore to its term loan lenders led by Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI).

The loan default by the company had recently assumed political hue because of Panda family's political links. Panda's elder son B J Panda is a Rajya Sabha member from ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha. The opponents of BJD in the state had made allegations about leniency by the lending agencies in recovery of loan from the company because of the family's political clout.

Though senior Panda had maintained a stoic silence over the controversy, he today chose the forum of the company's annual general meeting to get even with his critics. Addressing the shareholders at the 19th AGM of the Company at Bhubaneswar, he said, the company has paid back Rs 50 crores to its lenders in last two years. These repayments have been made since January 2000 when the captive chrome ore mines became operational and was in addition to the nearly Rs 45 crores paid earlier, he added.

ICCL, set up in 1989 as a 100 per cent Export Oriented Unit (EOU) with an integrated facility to produce 60,000 tonnes of charge chrome per annum and 108 mw of captive power, had soon run into rough weather due to delay in allotment of captive chrome ore mines and slump in international ferro chrome market.

Panda said, the ICCL's charge chrome production and power generation in 2001-02 was slightly lower than the previous year.

While charge chrome output was lower due to 41 days shut down of the plant for relining of the furnace, the power generation was curtailed because of lower internal requirement, he pointed out.

He said, both the charge chrome plant and captive power plant are on course to achieve new production records during 2002-03. For the six months ending September 30, ICCL's charge chrome production has crossed 30,000 mt (representing 96 per cent capacity utilisation) and power generation has reached 417 million units (representing 99 per cent plant load factor).

Speaking at the AGM, the Joint Managing Director of ICCL, Subhrakant Panda, said he was looking forward to the finalisation of a financial restructuring package for the company.

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