Thursday, August 11, 2022

Disinvestment: Baghel asks Centre to not disinvest NMDC’s Nagarnar plant, says will buy if disinvested

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  • The Opposition Leader in the state Assembly, Dharamlal Kaushik, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will also raise the issue with the Central government

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its ‘in-principle’ approval to the strategic disinvestment of Nagarnar Steel Plant in October

New Delhi: The state Assembly of Chhattisgarh has passed a resolution on December 28 unanimously for the state government to purchase National Mineral Development Corporation’s (NMDC) Nagarnar Steel Plant if the Centre disinvests it. While discussing the resolution, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel urged the Central government to not privatise the plant. “The central government has cleared the disinvestment… First, the demerger will take place before September 2021,” said the Chhattisgarh CM.

Baghel also pointed out that his predecessor, Raman Singh, had written to the Centre in 2017, opposing the privatisation of the plant, citing Maoist insurgency in the state. “Singh had said that tribes have given land for the public sector unit. Even the legal advisor of the Central government had suggested no for the sale,” the CM said.

BJP leader to raise the matter with the Centre

The Opposition Leader in the state Assembly, Dharamlal Kaushik, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will also raise the issue with the Central government. State Minister Ravindra Choubey said that the land was acquired in Nagarnar for NMDC’s steel plant and the people of the area had given the land away in the hope that it will generate direct and indirect employment. “But after knowing that the plant will be privatised, there is anger among local tribals,” he said.

The backdrop

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its ‘in-principle’ approval to the demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant (NSP) from NMDC Ltd. and the strategic disinvestment of the demerged company (NSP) by selling the entire stake of the government to a strategic buyer in October this year. 

ALSO READ: Cabinet approves strategic disinvestment of NMDC’s Nagarnar Steel Plant

NSP is a 3-million-tonne-per-annum (MTPA) Integrated Steel Plant being set up by NMDC at Nagarnar, Bastar district, Chhattisgarh, in an area of 1,980 acres at revised estimated cost of Rs 23,140 crore (as on July 14). As on date, NMDC has invested Rs 17,186 crore on the project, out of which Rs 16,662 crore is from NMDC’s own funds and Rs 524 crore has been raised from the bond market.

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