Central PSU Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd disinvestment to be completed by Dec

Bhubaneswar: The process for disinvestment of Central PSU Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd. (NINL) is likely to be completed by December 2021. This was informed by NINL Managing Director Rabindra Kumar Jha on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, Jha said, “The disinvestment plan is on a fast track mode and the Government has received very good response. Many big bidders have come forward to take over the plant.”

“We are at an advanced stage of disinvestment. Most probably, by December, thes company will be disinvested,” Jha said. Once the disinvestment process is completed, the pending dues of all concerned would be cleared, he added.

The employees have not received salaries pending since March 2020. Ranjan Nayak, an employee of NINL, said, “Since very beginning, we are opposing the disinvestment plan and have appealed to both State and Union Governments. However, till now, our problems have not been redressed.”

Meanwhile, the Tata Power has snapped electricity supply to the NINL due to long-pending dues of about Rs 56.70 crore.

In January last year, the Union Cabinet had approved the strategic disinvestment of the PSU and the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management invited preliminary bids for the company’s strategic sale.

The last date for bid submission was March 29. Multiple expressions of interest were received for privatisation, sources said.

Among others, Tata Steel, JSW Steel and ArcelorMittal are seen as key contenders for the ailing integrated steel firm, the source said.The NINL is a joint venture company of four Central Public Sector Enterprises, MMTC, NMDC, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and Mecon; and two State PSUs, Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (IPICOL) and Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).

The equity shareholding consists of MMTC (49.78per cent), NMDC (10.10percent), MECON (0.68percent), BHEL (0.68per cent), IPICOL (12percent) and OMC (20.47percent). Meanwhile, the NMDC has stepped in to provide technical and financial assistance to the NINL for resumption of its mining operations in Odisha. The NMDC would help operations of the NINL iron ore mines at Mithirda mine block, which have resumed.To provide impetus to the supply of high grade iron ore in Odisha, the NMDC signed an MoU to extend assistance to the NINL.

For 2021-22, the Union Government has set a disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore, over five times what it is aiming to raise in the current financial year. In the Revised Estimates, the target has been set at Rs 32,000 crore for the current fiscal.