Opposition to Nalco divestment grows as CM, BJP threaten stir
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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 00:30
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.


First Published: Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 00:30

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