No new hirings, only filling up vacancies this fiscal: BHEL

No new hirings, only filling up vacancies this fiscal: BHEL New Delhi: Faced with sluggish business conditions, state-run power equipment major BHEL has decided to limit its recruitment to only filling up the existing vacancies.

The decision comes at a time when the domestic power sector, the main stay of BHEL, is seeing slowdown primarily due to acute fuel shortages and financial woes.

"We are going to fill up the wastages (vacancies), right now we are waiting and watching what happens to the business environment," Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd Chairman and Managing Director B P Rao said in an interview.

"Our current workforce is (about) 48,000 and it is not going to go up, we are only filling wastages for this (fiscal) year, we have taken this step," Rao said.

However, he emphasised that the company has not frozen its hiring plans.

Elaborating on the decision to not hire for new positions, Rao said, "it (recruitment) is not freezing ... I am recruiting 2,000 people every year, it is mostly (to fill up posts vacant due to) retirement".

Interestingly, the public sector enterprise saw its employee strength rising by nearly 3,000 last financial year compared to 2010-11 period.

At the end of March 2012, the company had 49,390 employees compared to 46,748 in the previous fiscal.

Among other sites, BHEL currently employs around 10,000 people at its Haridwar and Trichy facilities while around 7,000 employees are at Bhopal and Hyderabad plants.

Over the last five years, the state-run major has hired more than 15,000 personnel as part of modernisation and expansion drive.

According to Rao, most of the domestic manufacturing capacity remains underutilised on account of various power sector woes.

He said that BHEL itself has got 20,000 MW (manufacturing capacity), while Larsen & Toubro has about 5,000 MW. Besides, Bharat Forge-Alstom and other joint venture companies for power equipment have also committed capacities.

"About 10,000 MW is under construction by all these companies... (but) there is no market for this (nearly) 40,000 MW," he noted.

A slew of power sector issues including lack of finances, land acquisition issues and fuel shortages, is affecting the overall business performance of BHEL.

The company raked in a profit after tax of Rs 7,040 crore on a turnover of Rs 49,150 crore in 2011-12 period.

Amid tough power sector conditions, BHEL is looking to focus on areas such as defence, transportation and renewables.