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BJD, Nalco staff oppose disinvestment

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar 

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) said it will oppose tooth and nail the Centre's plan to offload 12.5 per cent stake in National Aluminum Company (Nalco). The Nalco stake sale, which is expected to mop up Rs 1400 crore, is tipped to hit the markets on Friday.

"We have been opposing Nalco disinvestment time and again and will continue to do so. It is very unfortunate that a profit making navratna company is being disinvested. If required, the BJD would stage an agitation against the disinvestment plan," said senior BJD leader and Odisha parliamentary affairs minister Kalpaturu Das.

Though couple of attempts had been made over the past decade for sale of government shares in Nalco, it had been stalled each time following resistance from political parties, trade unions and employees of the company.

In the latest round, Nalco's disinvestment was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in September last year. However, it was deferred in November due to below par performance by the company in the July-September quarter. The government currently holds 87.15 per cent stake in Nalco and post disinvestment, it will come down to 75 per cent. The Nalco officers' association said it had no plans for any agitation even though it did not back the government's stake sale in the aluminium major.

"We have registered our protest earlier, but it seems the government is firm on its decision. We have no plans as of now to stage protest," said Surya Samal, member of the coordinating committee of 13 staff associations at Nalco's Bhubaneswar, Damanjodi and Angul offices.

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First Published: Wed, March 13 2013. 20:13 IST