New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accorded its approval for waiver of repayment of a 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 the total amount from 4 April 2019 till this approval outstanding against the Sikkim Mining Corporation.
Further accumulation of interest on the principal loan will get extinguished and the liquidation process of the Corporation will be completed.
Sikkim Mining Corporation (SMC) was established in 1960 as a 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 who inter alia suggested diversification of activities of the Corporation and strengthening of technical staff in conjunction with the retrenchment of excess manpower at lower levels.
However, keeping in view the recurring losses incurred by the Corporation since its very inception, the recommendation of Accountant General of Sikkim, and advice tendered by the erstwhile Planning Commission, both the partners (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 the report of the consultant & 107th Report of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of State Legislative Assembly of Sikkim, State and Central Governments took a 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 1 January 2007. Liabilities towards employees of the corporation were settled from the amount released 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.
An amount of Rs 11.21 lakh accrued from the sale of scraps of machinery of the Corporation was returned to Government of India.
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