A Ministerial Committee for the Cargo Handling Corporation Restructuring

9 years ago - May 21, 2012
After a failed first attempt to privatize the Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd, the Cabinet approved the establishment of a High Powered Committee to look into the restructuring of the port operator.

The Cabinet decided at its meeting on Friday, May 18, 2012, to approve the appointment of a High Powered Committee consisting of three ministers. The ministerial committee will be chaired by Finance Minister Xavier Duval. He will be assisted in its task of Ministers of Education and Human Resources, Vasant Bunwaree Minister of Labour and Industrial Relations, Shakeel Mohamed.

This committee will be tasked to review the operation of the CHCL to transform the corporation into a center for commercial shipping. The committee will also review the strategy of using human resources of the port operator pending the submission of the report prepared by KPMG.

Employees, themselves, fear disguised strategy to facilitate the arrival of a private sector partner. The main union of the port, the Port Louis Maritime Employees Association (PLMEA) does not see the usefulness of this committee and launched a warning against any attempt to facilitate the privatization process.

The reorganization of the CHCL is already underway and is put on the initiative of port workers. Since the election the three final PLMEA representatives as members of the board of directors of the corporation, proposals were approved and implemented without delay. The results of the proposed changes in work organization are already visible with a consequent increase in the rate of productivity for the current month , "says negotiator PLMEA, Ashok Subron.

He argues that the port has no need of a ministerial committee. He blames what he calls " a clique within the CHCL "of blocking the work for months.

We are launching a stern warning to ministers Xavier Duval and Shakeel Mohamed. Port employees will not tolerate a further tampering that would create an artificial argument in favor of privatization , "warns the negotiator PLMEA.

In that it is government's intention to privatize the CHCL, a screening exercise had identified five companies interested in acquiring some of the shares of CHCL in 2009. A tender was launched in February this year specifically for the five companies shortlisted. At April 25, 2012, the date of closing of the tender, only one of five companies involved had submitted a bid.

An offer that was rejected by the evaluation committee. According to reports published in the press, the conditions imposed by the Mauritius Port Authority for the sale of its shares have cooled international investors who had planned to take control of CHCL.

Thus, after the first failure of the proposed privatization of the only local port operator, the government has created a ministerial committee to accelerate the restructuring of CHCL. The definition of terms was given at the beginning of the year, the consulting firm KPMG. The consultants' final report is expected in October.

The committee will be responsible for restructuring while a consultant is already working on this project to restructure the terms of which will not be finalized until October. 

Text by lexpress.mu

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