Shipping Corporation gets navratna status

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New Delhi, Aug 4 (UNI) The Government has conferred the navratna status on the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), it was officially announced today.

The SCI, which was a mini ratna company, has become the 17th central public secter enterprise to get the navratna status, a Heavy Industry Ministry press release said.

The new status will give powers to the SCI's board to take decisions to acquire very large crude carriers (VLCC) and thus go ehead with its ambitious fleet expansion plan.

In 2006, the SCI had planned a capital expenditure of Rs 15,000 crore for acquisition of 70 ships including VLCCs and container vessels.

The mini ratna status till now did not allow the SCI board the autonomy to take decisions that involved an expenditure of more than Rs 500 crore and go for acquisition of VLCCs.

The new recognition will also give more powers to the company to strike joint ventures and open new offices.

Eastblished in 1961 by the amalgamation of Eastern Shipping Corporation and Western Shipping Corportion, the SCI has fleet of 83 ships of 4.6 million DWT.

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