``Divestment will not hit BHEL''

"Adequate internal resources available, free to raise funds from market"

Special Correspondent

TIRUCHI: The 10 per cent disinvestment proposed by the Union Government will affect neither the functioning nor the structure of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Chairman and Managing Director A.K. Puri said on Monday.

At a press conference here, he said the Centre had made it clear that the move would not affect the public sector status of BHEL. The Government would retain its ownership and there would be no change in the board or management structure.

Asked about the possible impact on employees, Mr. Puri said their views were already conveyed to the Government, which was seized of the issues raised. BHEL had adequate internal resources and it was free to raise funds from the market, if necessary.

Capacity expansion

On the Rs. 1,000-crore modernisation plan unveiled this year, he said the thrust would be on new facilities for capacity expansion and capacity building in engineering and technology. BHEL had crossed a milestone of an annual turnover Rs. 10,000 crores last fiscal.

The company was gearing up to meet the demand for super critical boilers and power plant equipment, including the 800-MW units proposed to be inducted in the Ninth Plan period. Marketing would be another major thrust area. Of the total allocation for modernisation, the Tiruchi BHEL complex would get Rs. 100 crores. Its fresh proposals for capacity expansion would be considered in due course.

The company would invest about Rs. 200 crores in research and development this fiscal, accounting for two per cent of its turnover. This was likely to reach five per cent by 2010.

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