Century Textiles and Industries will shave 5,000 workers from its payroll, director Kumar Mangalam Birla told shareholders at the company's AGM.

Birla said the job losses, which will - it hopes - come through a voluntary retirement scheme, are to prevent its mill in Worli from becoming inoperative. The workforce will be reduced from 7,000 to 2,000 employees.

He reassured shareholders that the company had no plans to redevelop or sell its Worli land, however or any of its business.

It is, however, planning to cut the number of looms in its textile facility in Mumbai as part of efforts to downsize.

Birla also threw off suggestions of a takeover and denied any dispute over Worli land with Bombay Dyeing.