BJD, Congress oppose disinvestment in Nalco

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Congress on Wednesday opposed the Central government’s move for disinvestment in the profit-making venture National Aluminium Company (NALCO) in Odisha.

After returning from his week-long trip to New Delhi, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said his government would oppose any move to disinvest from the profit-making venture.

“NALCO is a very profit-making PSU (public sector undertaking) and I don’t think disinvestment should take place there,” Patnaik told reporters here.

At present, the Centre holds 87.15 percent stake in NALCO, which has plants in Odisha’s Damanjodi and Angul districts. According to reports, the Centre has shortlisted 13 PSUs, including NALCO, for disinvestment this fiscal.

The Centre has planned to disinvest 12.15 percent stake in the Navaratna company.

The Odisha state Congress also opposed the proposal of the union government to go in for disinvestment in NALCO.

Pradesh Congress president Prasad Harichandan said the state unit has always opposed the disinvestment proposal.

“The Odisha Pradesh Congress had opposed a similar move by the previous UPA government. We would also oppose the decision of the BJP government,” said Harichandan.

However, the Odisha state BJP, which had vehemently opposed the NALCO disinvestment proposal of the previous UPA government, took a cautious stand.

State BJP president K.V. Singhdeo said the state unit will make its stand clear after the union cabinet takes the final call over the proposal.

When in opposition, the BJP had organised a state-wide agitation against the UPA government’s proposal to disinvest stake from the public sector venture.