SAIL paid dividend of Rs 673 crore to enrich Govt chest

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Kolkata, Feb 08 (UNI) Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has paid Rs 673.49 crore as interim dividend to the Government of India for 2007-08 fiscal.

SAIL made the highest-ever net profit (after tax) of Rs 5,160 crore for first nine months of the current fiscal, as the SAIL Board had announced interim dividend for its shareholders at a rate of 19 per cent paid-up equity, amounting to Rs 784.78 crore.

This was the highest-ever interim dividend paid by the company so far. SAIL will also pay the Government dividend tax amounting to Rs 133.37 crore for the interim dividend payout.

SAIL has regularly been paying dividend to its shareholders since 2004-05. The company has since paid Rs 4,254 crore as dividend, including this interim dividend, to its shareholders. Of this, dividend payout to the Government of India amounts to Rs 3,651 crore, besides Rs 632 crore paid as dividend distribution tax.

SAIL's contribution to the national exchequer (towards excise and custom duties, corporate tax, dividend, dividend tax, etc.) for the period April 2004 to December 2007 stood at about Rs. 35,160 crore.

The company has been able to improve its profitability and consequently higher interim dividend payout for the financial year, mainly due to improvement in product-mix, substantial increase in production of special grade steel and value-added items, cost reduction and higher net sales realisation.

During April-December '07, SAIL recorded its best-ever production of 9.6 million tonne of saleable steel. Around 3.7 lakh tonne of additional finished steel were produced during the period from existing mills by maximising capacity utilisation, reducing production of semis, and thereby improving the share of finished steel to 84 per cent from 81 per cent.

The SAIL plants operated at an average capacity utilisation of 115 per cent during the period.

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