Letter to Prime Minister: Hindustan Lifecare

Dear Narendra Modiji,

I am writing this letter to bring an important matter of serious concern to the State of Kerala, to your kind attention and prompt intervention.

The Hindustan Latex Limited (later rechristened as HLL Lifecare Limited) was incorporated in the year 1966 under the control of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The company was set up in Kerala primarily because of the easy availability of the basic raw material, ‘latex’ required for the manufacture of condoms, in the State. I may also add that the State Government had played a participatory role by handing over nearly 19 acres of land at prime locations free of cost for establishing the units of HLL Lifecare Ltd. in the state.

During the course of nearly five decades, the company has expanded its operations to reach out to the States of Karnataka, Haryana and Madhyapradesh, in addition to Kerala. The company is engaged in wide range of activities and is recognised as a corporate health care delivery company in major health care programmes of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. HLL has an excellent record of continuous profit making.

In Kerala, HLL has been engaged in a series of activities to make health care accessible and affordable to the common man. This has been possible because it is a 100% Government of India Company, deeply committed to national policies and goals. The fact that the Government of India has retained HLL as a strategic partner all these years speaks eloquently of its track record and commitment.

What causes concern now is the reported move of the Government of India to sell the company to private sector. If such a decision is taken, it will certainly affect in an adverse manner not only more than 5000 employees of the company and their families, but the society at large. The pro- active role so far played by the company in the programmes of the Government of India relating to population control, immunisation and healthcare, I am afraid, will become thing of the past. The Government of Kerala, which has been looking forward to further consolidation and expansion of the activities of HLL, providing job opportunities and ensuring a sound system of healthcare, is really concerned at the proposed move without taking the State Government into confidence.

I would seek your timely intervention in this matter to advise the concerned Ministry not to go ahead with the move to privatise a profit making and socially committed public sector undertaking. I further request you that any decision in the matter may be taken only after effective consultation with the State Government which has high stakes in the continued functioning of the HLL in the Public Sector.

With regards,
Yours sincerely,

(PINARAYI VIJAYAN)