Grasim Industries Ltd has decided to sell off its 26,000 tonnes per annum viscose staple fibre (VSF) facility in the southern state of Kerala. The facility accounts for $370m, roughly one-third of Grasim's turnover.The company had originally decided to close the unit in October 1999, but under Indian law, (Kerala) State Government's permission is required, especially if the facility is incurring losses. Currently ruled by a coalition led by the Communist Marxist Party, Kerala government has not yet granted permission for the unit's closure.Viscose is made from wood pulp, which is in short supply in southern India. This, and continual labour troubles, are the reason for the facility's problems. Grasim is part of the Aditya Birla group, claimed to be India's second largest business, which owns major apparel brands including Peter England, believed to be India's largest selling shirt brand, besides Allen Solly and Van Heusen. Aditya Birla's textile companies include Indian Rayon Ltd and Madura Coats Ltd, leading names in the textile and apparel field.