NALCO employees protest mortgaging power plant

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Angul,Jan 25 (UNI) The National Aluminum Company Limited(NALCO) employees today lodged a strong protest on the company's move to mortgage its power plant to avail a loan from Standard Chatered Bank to set up a Smelter Plant in Indonesia.

The officials of the foreign bank who arrived here on Thursday to assess the value and conditions of the power plant had to return without any verification following protest from the INTUC led trade union in the Nalco captive Power plant.

Union General Secretary Paresh Jena and INTUC-affiliated Nalco Sramik congress Union (NSCU) Vice-President G C Mishra said the workers were against the mortgage of the power plant to finance the setting up of a smelter plant in Indonesia.

According to NALCO Chairman cum Managing Director C R Pradhan the loan amounting to 75 million Euro-dollar (Rs 500 crore) had been sought from Standard Chatered Bank to fund the ongoing expansion project of Nalco.

The Company,he said, decided to avail loan from a foreign bank despite its huge cash reserve deposit of Rs 5000 crore because it was considered economically beneficial for the company.

He said on the fixed deposit the company received nine per cent interest while on the loan from the foreign bank NALCO had to pay only five per cent interest.

The loan negotiation, Mr Pradhan said, is yet to be finalised, he said and clarified that Nalco had to offer one of the seven 110 MW units of its power plant as security against the loan for which the bank officials were in Angul to verify the plant and give a certificate to avail the loan.

The NALCO workers, however,accused top brass of the company of hatching a conspiracy to pave the way for privatization of the Public Sector Undertaking.

UNI XC-DP KK RN2022

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