Looking to expand Nalco, not privatise: Centre

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New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Refuting reports of disinvestment in National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco), the Union Government on Wednesday said it is facilitating Rs 5,540-crore expansion plan to make the PSU a leading aluminium producer.
The Ministry of Mines, in a statement, said a news item appearing in some section of media had hinted that the Government of India is trying to privatise Nalco through buyback and offer for sale. This had led to worker unrest, it added.
The Ministry said 1 MTPA alumina refinery (Stream-5) is instead being set up at Damanjodi under Phase-3 expansion of M&R unit at an estimated cost of Rs 5,540 crore to further enhance production capacity of Nalco.
To augment the bauxite reserves of the company, the Centre recently renewed lease agreement with Nalco for Potangi Mines for another 5 years, the Ministry added.
On June 23, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had expressed concern over disinvestment in Nalco at regular interval in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had urged the Centre to put the decision of further disinvestment in Nalco on hold.
In the letter, Naveen also mentioned about approval of two expansion proposals of Nalco at smelter in Angul and Damanjodi refinery.

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