BJD agitates against Nalco disinvestment in Odisha

     Members of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) staged an agitation against the disinvestment of Nalco in Odisha, and warned the Central Government about their plans to intensify their stir, if the decision was not withdrawn. The BJD has been trying to create public opinion against the government's decision to sell 12.5 percent stake of Nalco, bringing down its share to 75 percent. Protesters said that Nalco was the pride of their state and the central government's decision against the withdrawal of capital was not a wise one. "No, this is particularly against withdrawal of capital, which is particularly concerning about the central government decision t withdraw 12.5 percent capital from Nalco and since the beginning, this Biju Janata Dal has been trying to strengthen this Nalco," Baishnav Parida, a lawmaker of the BJD. "It is the pride of our state and it is a profitable organisation, it is the hand of the central government. So, its profits are utilised for the interest of the nation and we want that withdrawal should stop and private capital should not be allowed to enter into the Nalco," Parida added. Another BJD lawmaker Ashok Panda said that it was an irony that the government had called for disinvestment, as the company was giving rich dividends to both the central and state governments. "Protest is about the government of India 's decision to withdraw 12.5 percent of share from the profit public sector Nalco. Nalco is one of the companies, which has been giving good dividends to government of India over the years. It is an irony that Nalco with its huge bauxite deposit and with other activities has contributed to the government of India exchequer as well as the state government. But unfortunately, what is the rationale behind the decision for the disinvestment?" he said. Recently, the shares of National Aluminium Co Ltd surged as much as 5.5 percent, following media reports that the cabinet was considering selling some of the government stake in five companies. Several newspapers reported the other four companies in which the government was looking to sell stakes besides Nalco were Hindustan Copper, Oil India , Neyveli Lignite and MMTC, citing an unnamed government official privy to the developments.

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