The State government should secure a commitment from the Centre that there would be no more disinvestment of equity of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, according to M. Shanmugam, general secretary of the Labour Progressive Front, an arm of workers of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
Referring to the stipulation that 10 per cent of shares of public sector undertakings be held by the public, Mr. Shanmugam said that the Union government, while deciding that five per cent equity be disinvested, had apparently not taken into account a portion of the quantum of 3.44 per cent shares being held by financial institutions such as Life Insurance Corporation. This yardstick might be applied if the Centre allowed sale of NLC shares to Tamil Nadu State public sector undertakings, as suggested by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. If the sale were to be regarded as a case of institutional placement and not public offering, the Centre might say on a later date that five per cent more had to be disinvested. To leave no such scope, the State government should seek clarification from the Centre that no more disinvestment would be made in future.