Nalco officers oppose disinvestment

V. Sridhar

Bangalore: Officers of the National Aluminium Company Ltd. (Nalco) have opposed the Union government's move to disinvest 10 per cent of its stake in the company.

B.C. Ray, president, Nalco Officers' Association-Angul, said the officers and employees “are determined to save the company from privatisation.” Nearly 1,200 officers, out of 1,800, are employed at Nalco's facility in Angul, which houses its captive power plant. Angul is about 140 km from Bhubaneswar.

The disinvestment proposal is yet to be ratified by the Nalco board. The company made a net profit of Rs.1,272 crores in 2008-09. In the last four years, Nalco has made a dividend payout of Rs.1,514 crores to the government, including Rs.322 crores in 2008-09. The government currently holds a stake of 87.15 per cent in the company.

Referring to Nalco's average net profit to turnover ratio of 30 per cent in the last four years, Mr. Ray said: “Why should the government sell its stake in a company that is one of the most profitable in the public sector?”

Mr. Ray said the employees had “successfully thwarted” the move to privatise the company on two earlier occasions – in 2002 and 2006. Nalco, he said, is the only government-owned integrated producer of aluminium after the privatisation of Balco in 2001.