"There were a few companies which were not running properly, we have taken decision to close five such companies," Geete said, talking to reporters on the sidelines of a workshop here. These firms are HMT Watches, HMT Chinar, HMT Bearing, Tunga Bhadra Steels and Hindustan Cable Corporation, he said.

"Assets of these companies are valued at around Rs 22,000 crore. We would get Rs 22,000 crore by spending Rs 1,400 crore on closing of these companies," added Geete.
     
"We are prepared to give immovable properties and the machineries and plants to buyers on 'as it is and where it is' basis." The five companies are in different states, but all of them are located at prime locations, he said.

"Cabinet has given in-principle approval. Proposal has been sent to individual employees and the process (of closure) will be completed in two to three months," said Geete.
     
The union minister was answering a question on Centre's plan of disinvestment in CPSEs. "The government has not taken any decision on disinvestment as of now," he clarified.
     
"Since 2007 these five companies are closed. We have spent around four thousand crore rupees on the salaries. How long we will spend on salaries for such non-productive ventures from where we are getting nothing?" he asked.

Around 2,800 employees of these five CPSEs will be offered Voluntarily Retirement Scheme, he said, adding that while these employees were getting salaries as per a 1997 pay-scale, VRS would be as per a 2007 pay-scale.

"No investor is ready to invest in such companies. We have made attempts to get investments. So we took the decision to close them," the minister said.

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