The People’s Union for Human Rights and the Federation for People’s Rights, Puducherry, have appealed to the Union government that in the interests of industrial development and workers’ welfare, the Centre should withdraw the proposal to divest five per cent of the NLC shares.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, rights activists A. Marx, G. Sugumaran and R. Babu said that already the UPA government stood alienated on various issues pertaining to Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil Nadu fishermen and allocation of electricity.

The disinvestment issue would further alienate the Centre from the people of Tamil Nadu. The NLC had established its unquestioning leadership in the sphere of lignite-based power plants. The turnover of the NLC, a Navratna company, in the last fiscal touched Rs. 2,047.55 crore and profits Rs. 1,459.76 crore.

By way of taxes, the NLC had paid Rs. 587.90 to the Centre. When such was the case, it was beyond cognition as to why the Centre should insist upon divesting five per cent of NLC shares to raise Rs. 466 crore.

Founder of the Tamilaga Vazhvurimai Katchi Mr T.Velmurugan, in a statement, said divesting five per cent of NLC shares was contrary to the objectives of setting up of PSUs.