Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Oct 14, 2004
Corporate - New Projects
Government - Policy
Cabinet clears Nalco expansion plan
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, with the Minister of State for Personnel & Parliamentry Affairs, Mr Suresh Pachauri, at a meeting with secretaries in the Capital on Wednesday. - Kamal Narang
New Delhi , Oct 13
THE Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved National Aluminium Company's (Nalco) Rs 4,091.51-crore expansion plans. The company, which is the country's second largest aluminium producer, plans to expand its refinery and mines capacity.
"The proposal was cleared and Nalco will generate 50 per cent of the funds required internally,'' Mr Dasari Narayan Rao, Minister of State for Coals and Mines, said after the meeting.
The company would raise 50 per cent of the funds needed via commercial borrowing, Mr Rao said without elaborating.
The investment plan entails expansion of its aluminium, bauxite and alumina capacity. The funds would also be used to enhance the capacity of Nalco's 960-MW captive power plant to 1200 MW.
Nalco will increase its bauxite production capacity to 6.3 million tonnes from its current 4.8 million tonnes, while the alumina refining capacity would be enhanced from 1.5 million tonnes to 2.1 million tonnes.
After the expansion, Nalco's aluminium production capacity will increase to 4,60,000 tonnes from 3,45,000 tonnes at present.
The completion of the second phase of expansion is expected to make Nalco's refinery capacity the 6th largest in the world, the sources said, adding Nalco is already Asia's largest integrated aluminium complex. The project is expected to be completed within 50 months after being approved by the CCEA.
Food-for-work programme cleared: The Cabinet meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, also cleared a food-for-work programme covering 150 districts across the country.
The project, with an annual outlay of Rs 2,250 crore, is expected to provide employment opportunities in rural areas.
Each of the 150 districts, which have already been identified, would get Rs 15 crore every year under the programme, official sources said.
Steel policy deferred: The National Steel Policy, which was scheduled to be taken up by the Cabinet today, has, however, been deferred. The draft would be put on a Web site first to seek the views of various stakeholders including the public.
The Cabinet decided to set up a committee under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary, Mr B.K. Chaturvedi, to decide about the timeframe and other details for putting the draft policy on the Web site, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers and Steel, told mediapersons on the sidelines of a seminar on health.
"As such, I proposed to put the draft policy on a Web site to seek the views of stakeholders," he said.
Scrap import policy discussed: Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which met today, discussed formulation of a proper scrap import policy from the point of view of security as well as handling by the Customs.
The CCS reviewed the different views expressed by various Ministries on the issue that came to the fore following the September 30 deaths of 10 workers and consequent discovery of shells in scrap from a steel re-rolling mill on the outskirts of the Capital.
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