Trivandrum: Several companies operating out of the Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram have defaulted in rent payment and owe an amount of Rs 17.76 crores as arrears, accumulated over the last few years. This was disclosed by the Minister for Industries & IT, Shri P K Kunhalikutty in the Niyamasabha.
In a written response to questions by two MLAs, the Minister said that as on December 08, 2014; the top defaulters are Vital Links & Services with dues of Rs. 1.67 crores, Vyga Animation with dues of Rs. 1.02 crores, Accentia Technologies with Rs. 71.38 lakhs and Toonz Animation with Rs. 51.58 lakhs.
The Minister added that steps have been initiated to recover the pending dues from the companies. Action included constant reminders, electricity cuts, revenue recovery procedures and legal action.
It may be recalled that in 2013, Technopark authorities had initiated serious action including eviction against companies who had arrears of more than Rs 50 lakhs each by defaulting on electricity charges and other monthly dues and rentals. Apart from the above mentioned firms, a medical transcription company, Enter Technologies was also among the top defaulters.
Accordingly, the contract of Vital Links and Services which operated the food court at the Tejaswini building in the Technopark campus was terminated and they were evicted. The furniture and other belongings of the company including their computers were confiscated.
Technopark Officials who are familiar with this issue said that about 25 companies are in the defaulters list. Several of them have not paid rent for periods ranging from six months to over a year. Some of these companies are irregular with the salary payments of their employees also.
The ground reality is that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Technopark authorities to get the defaulters to pay up the arrears. When they disconnect power connection to these defaulters, as per rules of the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission, the company approaches the State Electricity Ombudsman or the High Court and gets a stay against the power disconnection.
Companies also use political influence to block recovery proceedings. In fact, during the last LDF regime, rent arrears of few IT companies in Technopark were written off following the intervention of the Chief Minister’s office.
Kerala IT News