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Credit crunch brings Dunlop plant to halt


Sukarno Sen,CNN-IBN
Nov 18, 2008 at 11:33pm IST

Sahagunj (West Bengal): Remaining workless is not a new experience for Arvind Halwai. He has witnessed long patches of uncertainty through his 17-year stint at Dunlop's Sahalgunj plant. Yet the present suspension of production, which offers him a Rs 2,000 monthly allowance makes him even more bitter .

"I don't believe in the company and Rs 2,000 is not enough for me and my family," says he.

Things have not gone right for Dunlop ever since the presnt CMD, Pawan Ruia took over three years ago.

The company failed to forge a tie-up with an original equipment manufacturer, which would have given it a sustained production assurance. It also failed to find a suitable technology partner.

Loss of brand value and decrease in working capital forced it to effectively stop production six months ago and the final nail in the coffin has been the global meltdown.

However, Trinamul Trade Union Leader, Dilip Yadav says, "The logic of economic slowdown by the management is only a pretension. There are other motives behind the closure."

The present shutdown has yet again dealt a blow to Dunlop's brand value and to Bengal's industrialisation prospects.

Unless Dunlop manages to rope in a technology partner and revitalise its brand value, any attempt to restart production would meet the same dead end. For the Dunlop management and its 1,200-odd workers the road ahead is much steeper than merely getting past the credit crunch in financial institutions.

(With inputs from Sougata Mukhopadhyay)

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