Opposition to Nalco divestment grows as CM, BJP threaten stir
Bhubaneswar: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik today strongly opposed the Centre`s move to offload 10
per cent of its stake in the Navratna aluminium giant Nalco
which has its mines, refinery and smelter unit in the state.
"The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is against the idea of
disinvestment in Nalco (National Aluminium Company)," the
Chief Minister who is also the BJD president told reporters
here today, indicating yet another agitation against Nalco
disinvest. The ruling party had opposed it in the past too.
Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pyari Mohan
Mohapatra also criticised the move describing it as a "sign of
inefficiency on part of the Central government".
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party has also opposed
the Nalco divestment plan. State BJP president Jual Oram said
his party will oppose any move to disinvest in the
profit-making Nalco. "We will hit the streets against the
Centre`s move," Oram said.
Even as the anti-divestment move gathered momentum in
the state, the Centre has asked the Nalco board to go ahead
with the disinvestment proposal that may fetch Rs 2,000 crore
for the government.
The Navratna company, in which the Centre owns 87.15 per
cent stake, required heavy investment to carry forward its
expansion and modernisation plans in the recent past.
Besides Nalco, the Centre is likely to go ahead with
divestment in about a dozen Central PSUs, including SAIL, Coal
India, Hindustan Copper, SJVNL and EIL in the current fiscal
to raise about Rs 40,000 crore.
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