Syndicate Bank bribery case: Can steer through current crisis, says Bhushan steel

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 14 2014, 21:26pm hrs
Bhushan SteelBhushan Steel reportedly has Rs 36,000 crore total debt including Rs 6,000 crore working capital loan through 51 lenders.
Opposing lenders' demand for an external agency to oversee the company's day-to-day operations, Bhushan Steel today said it needs just 3-6 months to demonstrate it can steer through the current crisis.

The debt-ridden steel maker, whose Vice Chairman and Managing Director Neeraj Singal was recently arrested by CBI in an alleged cash-for-loan scam, said it would instead urge lenders to grant at least 3-6 months to see its performance before taking any such decision in the proposed meeting on August 18.

"If lenders hire a firm from outside to oversee our day to day operation, it will only demoralise the whole existing team which has built the company from the scratch," a company official said on condition of anonymity.

State Bank of India, a major lender, had earlier said it would press for an external agency to take over the day-to-day running of the company.

Bhushan Steel reportedly has Rs 36,000 crore total debt including Rs 6,000 crore working capital loan through 51 lenders,

"Lenders should give us 3-6 month time to see how the progress is going on. We are a beautifully-run firm and the debt that has been there is because of the expansions that we carried out in the last eight years for creating five million tonnes per annum," he said.

However, he added that the final decision would be taken by the lenders' consortium and that the company would abide by whatever decision is taken.

The official said the company had to face lot of issues including an over six months' delay in operationalising a unit in Odisha which impacted revenue.

Besides, Odisha government's failure to allocate an iron ore mine and Centre's decision to deallocate a coal mine have also impacted the profitability of the company even though there has not been any NPA so far, the official said.

"Appointing an outside agency is thus not going to solve the problem. It will just create unnecessary confusion and disbelief in the existing team. Bhushan Steel is already an well-structured organisation. It is not Neeraj Singal who does all the job for the company. He is a guiding force and not an operating force," he said.

"Besides, our company was built by Brij Bhushan Singal and he is still attached with the firm as a non-executive Chairman. He is already there and he can take charge of the management. All employees are clinging together and there has been no resignation till the time this episode crops up ," he said.

"The whole board is supporting the existing management. There is solidarity in the team," he added.