HBT rebuts all chargeshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/hbt-rebuts-all-charges/

HBT rebuts all charges

With Trinamool Congress ministers and Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) authorities making various allegations against the ABG-LDA led Haldia Bulk Terminal (HBT),which decided to pull out from Haldia dock amid labour problems,the cargo-handling firm on Friday rebutted the charges.

With Trinamool Congress ministers and Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) authorities making various allegations against the ABG-LDA led Haldia Bulk Terminal (HBT),which decided to pull out from Haldia dock amid labour problems,the cargo-handling firm on Friday rebutted the charges.

In a press statement issued today,Gurpreet Malhi,the CEO of HBT,hit back at the port authorities,asking what prevented them from allotting it more work as it would have led to more earnings for KoPT.

“In our two years of operation (at Haldia dock),the KoPT greatly benefited by our presence and earned more than Rs 150 crore. We have brought about a three-fold increase in productivity which greatly enhanced the image of the port. We continue to be at a loss to comprehend what prevented them from earning more revenue from our operations by allocating more cargo to us,” he said.

On the issue of quoting low price in its tender,Malhi said the quotes were placed keeping in mind a moderate and steady operational profit. “Our sponsors are long-standing and reputed companies and not fly-by-night operators who want to make quick gains,” the CEO said.

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Malhi said the allegations that workers did not get their due provident fund (PF) were “baseless.” “We have paid 100 per cent of all statutory dues including PF,ESI,PT,etc to our employees.”

Countering the charge that abrupt retrenchment of 275 workers by HBT vitiated the atmosphere leading to a breakdown in law and order,Malhi said: “Law and order problems existed even before the retrenchment. The district administration,despite being directed by the High Court to maintain law and order,failed to do so.”