Saturday, Sep 14, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
Urging the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee to intervene, the senior Congress leaders said the Government had evaluated the cost of NALCO at Rs. 2,928 crores which he said was half the present cost.
He said NALCO was established at a cost of Rs. 2,408 crores and with current expansion of Rs. 3,700 crores, the cost added up to Rs. 6,108 crores.
``The Government has no convincing reason for the low valuation. The whole exercise smacks of a big scam'' he said.
Mr. Patnaik said the Orissa Pradesh Congress was soon going to organise a major protest and charged that the ruling Biju Janata Dal, a constituent of the National Democratic Alliance at the Centre, was doing nothing to prevent NALCO privatisation..
Arguing the case for retaining its present holding, the Congress leader said NALCO was making an annual profit of Rs. 500 crores every year for the last eight years and after current internally funded expansion plan, the net profit would be in the range of Rs. 1000 croress.
``After expansion, it is expected that the annual turnover would cross Rs. 3,500 crores with a net profit in the range of Rs. 1000 crores per annum. NALCO is the cheapest aluminum producer in the world,'' he said. Referring to the economic reforms introduced by the Congress, he said, the party policy was enunciated in its Pachmarhi resolution which said that public sector undertakings which were continuously making profit and which would continue to make such profit in future by making proper investments of its own internal resources, should not be privatised. Meanwhile, former Union Minister, K.C Lenka, too joined the protest and termed the decision to privatise NALCO as ``unjust, arbitrary'' and against the interest of people of Orissa.
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