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STC pays 20 pc interim dividend to Govt

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Feb. 25

Buoyed by salutary business performance trends during the first 10 months of the current fiscal, the State Trading Corporation (STC) today paid interim dividend of 20 per cent of its capital to the Government of India for 2003-04.

The dividend cheque of Rs 5.46 crore was handed over by the Corporation's Chairman and Managing Director, Dr Arvind Pandalai, to the Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Arun Jaitely, here at the latter's office.

Total turnover of the Corporation during the 10-month span of the current fiscal, from April 2003 to January 2004, saw an all-time high of Rs 6,150 crore.

Talking to Business Line here, Dr Pandalai said that with the Government's new grain export policy on the anvil, the Corporation has swung into advance planning by identifying sources for procurement of grains for export markets. He further said that the Corporation has already expanded its edible oil operations in a big way and is planning to push export of groundnut oil, taking advantage of the firming up of prices abroad.

A company release said that higher turnover in its trading activity this fiscal could be made feasible following continued thrust on identified items of exports and imports and through launch of a host of new initiatives.

Export turnover, during the period under review, rose to Rs 860 crore as compared to Rs 478 crore during the corresponding period last year. The Corporation has exported foodgrains worth Rs 790 crore till January 2004. STC was also successful in signing a contract of export of GI sheets worth Rs 61 crore to Sri Lanka, which would amount to a hefty Rs 1,000 crore for the full fiscal year.

Imports sales during the current year so far amounted to Rs 5,100 crore as the Corporation has expanded its edible oil import operations on commercial account and effected sales worth Rs 421 crore up to January 2004. Besides, the Corporation is also undertaking import of vanaspati from Nepal. Imports of fertilisers on commercial account, which the Corporation has undertaken for the first time, accounted for a turnover of over Rs 160 crore.

As a new initiative, the Corporation diversified its operations by undertaking import of bitumen, low ash metallurgical coke, lead concentrate/lead ore, heavy metal scrap, aluminium ingots, HR coils, HR steel billets.

STC has been able to stage a turnaround during the first 10 months of the current fiscal by posting a net profit (after tax) of over Rs 14 crore, after incurring losses during the last two years.

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