Mangalore, October 2: A protest was staged by the Mangala Karmika Okkuta in Baikampady Industrial Area on October 1st, infront of the MCF, against the closure of the company.
MCF is the only manufacturer of chemical fertilizers in Karnataka and which was founded in 1974, in Baikampady Industrial Area, Dakshina Kannada district. During that time, MCF was jointly owned by the central and state government. During 1990, under the ownership of the central and the state government, the company started facing sudden losses. When losses occurred, it was Vijay Mallya who came to the rescue of the company. The UB Group owned by Mallya purchased 22 percent of the share capital while the rest remained with the Government. The company has an annual turnover of Rs 3,700 crore.
Recently, the central government issued orders to MCF to halt the manufacture of urea from naptha and switch over to LPG by end of September, or face closure.
Surya Narayan, president of Mangala Karmika Okkuta speaking to the media said, “From the past one month we have done all to save the company. We have closed the company and all the reports in the media saying 60 percent or 40 percent less production, all are false information. We need some time to completely shut the company, by today evening it will be completely shut down. We request the government to run the factory until the gas pipeline is connected, though the naphtha-based urea production be allowed. Today more than 5,000 workers are on the streets and it is the responsibility of the government to find a solution for this problem”.
“The government has to speed up the work and provide gas connectivity as MCF recently invested about Rs 305 crore for conversion of the plant for the usage of gas and we are ready to run the factory on gas. Mangala brand is fomous in Karnataka and other states of India, farmers are not willing to buy any other brand in the market other than our Mangala brand. We formed joint action committee along with Tuticorin fertilizer ‘SPIC’ and Madras Fertilizers Limited (MFL) on September 27. Our first action is to have silent protest in the respective companies demanding the goverment to hear the plea. If no result comes within a week, we have decided to move to Delhi and meet the PM and Union chemicals and fertilizers minister.” he added
Demanding the government to respond to their request, the members of the Mangala Karmika Okkuta had held various placards.