15,000 staff without pay for 5 months: Subhiksha

Distressed retailer Subhiksha today said its 15,000 employees have been unpaid since October last year...

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published: February 20, 2009 12:47 am

Distressed retailer Subhiksha today said its 15,000 employees have been unpaid since October last year,and it has been directed by Employees Provident Fund Organisation to pay the assessed dues at the earliest.

In connection with an ongoing inquiry by Employees Provident Fund Organisation,the Regional Commissioner has directed the company to pay the assessed dues at the earliest,the company said in a statement.

Subhiksha is currently said to be in deep financial trouble and one of its major shareholders,ICICI Venture,has reportedly sought an investigation into the affairs of the company apart from an independent audit.

ICICI Venture,along with some other shareholders,that include an entity promoted by IT major Wipro’s chairman Azim Premji,is also said to be opposing Subhikhsha’s move to merge itself with a Chennai-based firm Blue Green Constructions.

The company said it was unable to pay the salaries and arrears to its 15,000 employees since October 2008,but it had repaid a loan of Rs 15 crore to one of its shareholders.

While announcing that all its 1,600 stores would remain closed at least till May,the company,burdened under a huge debt,recently said that it immediately needs Rs 300 crore.

According to unconfirmed reports,Subhiksha has been given 15 days’ time to repay its employees provident fund dues,totalling close to Rs 1.75 crore.

Commenting on inquiry,the company today said its managing director R Subramanian has offered the provident fund amount in his personal account “to be adjusted and treated as paid on behalf of the company towards part-payment of the arrears,and the request is being processed by Employees Provident Fund Organisation.”

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