Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi against further disinvestment of the Nalco. He also urged to issue instructions to the Ministry of Mines in this regard.

"Nalco has been a symbol of Odisha's pride. There is discontentment among the people of Odisha and the employees of the company after the recent disinvestment effected by the central government in this Navratna company," Patnaik wrote to the prime minister.

Stating that the disinvestment of Nalco being undertaken by the central government at regular intervals, Patnaik said the domestic aluminium major had an excellent track record of performance and was poised for a robust growth in future.

He said to enhance the production capacity of Nalco and increase its profitability, the state government had reserved the Pottangi bauxite deposit over an area of 1738.04 hectare having an estimated resources of about 74 million tons of bauxite in favour of Nalco. The terms and conditions of the mining lease had also been issued by the state government on July 12, 2016."

The High Level Clearance Authority of the state government has recently approved two proposals of the company to expand the capacity of its smelter plant at Angul from 0.46 MTPA to 0.96 MTPA with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore and enhance the Aluminium refinery capacity at Damanjodi from 2.275 mtpa to 3.275 mtpa with an investment of Rs 4357.20 crore, Patnaik said.

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He said the disinvestment move would negatively impact the internal accruals of the company and might even hamper the smooth implementation of these important expansion projects.

"In this context, I would also request that further disinvestment in Nalco may be put on hold. I would also request that appropriate instruction may be issued to the Ministry of Mines to look into the matter to address the concern of the people of Odisha and employees of the company," Patnaik said in the letter.