ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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New Pastures

New Pastures Hansavivek ORISSA CEMENT achieved 120 per cent of installed capacity utilisation during 1978 as against average utilisation of 89 per cent of the industry as a whole. Although production of clinker was lower at 3.97 lakh tonnes, against 4.22 lakh tonnes in the previous year, output of cement was marginally higher at 4.82 lakh tonnes against 4.75 lakh tonnes, and so were sales at 4.79 lakh tonnes against 4.77 lakh tonnes. But the directors complain that working results of the cement division were lower than in earlier years because of the increases in power tariff and wages and the imposition of excise duty on coal. Production in the refractory division was lower at 1.01 lakh tonnes, against 1.10 lakh tonnes previously; and sales were one lakh tonnes against 1.07 lakh tonnes. Both production and sales of cement products at the Rajganpur unit were considerably higher at 13,917 tonnes and 14,651 tonnes against 9,051 tonnes and 8,888 tonnes, respectively, in 1977. No production could be undertaken at the Mubarikpur unit, however, for want of orders. This unit had produced 5,189 tonnes and sold 7,662 tonnes in 1977. In 1978, its sales were barely 48 tonnes. The company's overall results, have been satisfactory with higher sales and profits. Net profit is Rs 2.10 crores (Rs 1.92 crores) and the unchanged dividend of 25 per cent is covered 2.94 times by earnings, as against 2.73 times previously. Under the award of arbitrators, workmen of the cement industry were given increases in wages and house rent allowance and certain other benefits, besides a lump sum amount in lieu of retrospective effect from March 1, 1977. The company has now received a charter of demands for revisions of wages etc from the employees in the refractory and cement products works. Bi-partite negotiations for a long-term settlement are in progress. The newly started electronics project is in progress. A new company under the name 'Vitroc Elektronics' has been incorporated to implement the project. Out of its initial equity capital of Rs 40 lakhs, the company has applied for shares worth Rs 10.4 lakhs. In regard to the proposal for starting a new travel agency, the directors nov prefer to take over a running travel agency firm. The company has secured government approval for transfer of some of its fire clay mining leases to the subsidiary Konarak Minerals. Approval is awaited for the remaining mining leases for fire clay and quartzite etc. The subsidiary has not yet commenced mining operations. The company is considering a Rs 1.80 crore modernisation plan for the refractory division which would enable it to manufacture more sophisticated products to keep pace with the developments in steel manufacturing technology. No appreciable progress has been made in regard to the slag cement project because of uncertain availability of slag.

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