Amidst fund shortage, HLL Biotech (HBL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of HLL Lifecare, a Government of India enterprise, has offered a chance to its employees to join its parent company, HLL, on a temporary basis, at any of its facilities in the country.
Given the fact that HBL’s Rs 600-crore Integrated Vaccine Complex (IVC) project in Chengalpattu, has been inactive for some time now, and the Company has been unable to pay its employees’ salaries since July, 2019, this seems to be a fair option presented to its staff. Presently, HBL has 130 permanent employees.
According to a notice issued to the employees, the posts in HLL Lifecare will be based on a working arrangement, and there will be no option of transfers. The employees will be allowed to work at various divisions of HLL or its subsidiaries, depending on the requirements. Also, the postings do not mean that the employees will be absorbed by HLL Lifecare or its subsidiaries.
The company has made an interim arrangement to pay Rs 25,000 per month to the executive-level staff and Rs 10,000 to the junior staff. The management will stop paying interim wages next month onwards to those employees who do not take up the offer, whereas those who do accept the offer will get their original salaries.
However, when such an option was mooted earlier, the response was far from encouraging. Some employees feel that they would not be comfortable doing work that is not in line with their qualifications or as per their interest. Also, since a majority of them belong to Tamil Nadu, they were not keen to move out of the state, either.
While it is not clear whether the Government wants to sell the project altogether or retain a small interest in HBL, it is definitely trying to come up with a revival plan. This includes a suggestion to write off debt of about Rs 300 crore, before the IVC project is passed on to some partner.