MLAs accuse company of diverting money to achieve political ends
A group of MLAs who met District Collector Jafar Malik here on Monday alleged that Kitex Group was using its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to achieve political ends.
Kitex Group, headed by Sabu M. Jacob, is using its CSR funds for political purposes, alleged P.T. Thomas, MLA. Twenty20 Kizhakkambalam governs Kizhakkambalam panchayat and is headed by Mr. Jacob. He said CSR fund utilisation should be above political considerations, according to rules governing fund utilisation.
However, Mr. Jacob ridiculed the charge, saying that Kitex Garments was a listed company, which adhered to the listing norms of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The accounts, both company and CSR funds, are statutorily audited, he said and claimed that those who made the allegations were not aware of the rules governing listed companies.
He also said that 13 inspections had been conducted on the factory premises recently to find out if the company violated regulations, but no notice had been served on it.
The group of MLAs included Eldose Kunnappillil and P.V. Sreenijin. The meeting with the Collector was also attended by officials of Factories and Boilers, Agriculture, Industries, Health and Labour departments as well as the Pollution Control Board.
Mr. Thomas alleged that the accounts submitted by the company to the Provident Fund, Employees State Insurance, Labour and Factories and Boilers departments on the actual number of employees varied widely. The MLA said the claim that Kizhakkambalam panchayat had saved ₹13 crore during the last financial year was ridiculous.
Mr. Jacob asked why the MLAs were silent on the alleged pollution of the Kadambrayar by the group of companies. He said water samples were collected from the 15-km segment of a tributary of the river from near the Kitex company area but no pollution had been detected.
Kitex Group had been in the news recently after it announced that it was withdrawing from investing ₹3,500 crore in the State. The Telangana government had then invited Mr. Jacob to the State where the group has firmed up plans to invest ₹1,000 crore in the Kakatiya Textiles Park in Warangal district.
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