By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, June 29, 2017 : The Narendra Modi government will not privatise the blue-chip aluminium major, National Aluminium company Ltd [NALCO] at least for the time being.

“It has come to the notice of the government regarding a news item appearing in some section of the Press that Government of India is trying to privatise the National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) through buyback and offer for sale (OFS). Due to such news items, NALCO is facing agitation by its workers,” the Ministry of Mines said in statement.

The ministry “in order to clear any misleading information” would like to clarify that “NALCO is a prestigious Navratna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) and the central government appreciates its role in the progress of the country as well as state of Odisha”, it said.

The government further said it is facilitating Rs 5,540 crore expansion plan to make the PSU a leading aluminium producer. “The central government is making all possible efforts to improve and further expand the capacity of NALCO so that it becomes a major producer of aluminium in India as well as at global level”, the statement said.

“The Ministry of Mines is facilitating NALCO for enhancing its production capacity of Alumina Refinery by setting up of 1 MTPA alumina refinery (Stream-5), Damanjodi under Phase-3 expansion of M&R unit at an estimated cost of Rs 5,540 crore,” the ministry said.

To augment the bauxite reserves of the company, the Centre has recently extended the reservation of Potangi Mines in favour of NALCO for further 5 years, the ministry informed.

Last week, Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik in a letter to prime minister, Naredra Modi had strongly opposed the move to privatise NALCO and urged the PM to put the disinvestment move on hold.

 

“Nalco has been a symbol of pride. There is discontentment among people of Odisha and the employees of the company after the recent disinvestment affected by the central government in this Navaratna company”.

In April this year, NALCO share sale attracted bids worth Rs 954 crore on strong demand from HNIs and institutional buyers.

The share sale attracted bids for over 14.24 crore shares as against 7.73 crore offered to institutional investors, an over-subscription of 1.84 times.