Following is the tiny nugget of information for the Left parties, the DMK and all others who oppose privatisation. Following is the success story of a PSU, BALCO (Bharat Aluminium Company Limited), privatised in 2001 under the NDA govt’s Disinvestment Ministry. I thoroughly believe that privatisation is the way to go, govt should be deal in only strategic sectors like oil. It should rather concentrate on good governance.
It’s not just that their average salaries have doubled from Rs 1.5 lakh per annum in the PSU days to Rs 3 lakh per annum now, but also the skill upgradation programs routinely held for them, the job opportunities for their children and other “intangibles” at work. Apart from capital investments of Rs 5,000 crore to set up a new 540 MW power plant and a 2.45 lakh-tonne alumina smelter, Balco’s also ventured into new products and new markets even as its increased efficiencies at the original plant to make it perform at 115 per cent. “We are now making aerospace alloys, special alloys and sheets and plates for Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre’s missiles and the defence forces,” says Suri.
From a meagre export of Rs 0.2 crore when Sterlite took over, Balco’s exports crossed Rs 1100 crore in 2006-07. A new brand called ‘Bharatal’ has been registered at the London Metals Exchange and is being sent to 30 countries already. All this has happened without the government investing a penny, though it remains a 49 per cent shareholder and has been getting good dividends. Despite these constraints, the company hopes to be debt-free by this year-end, repaying loans of over Rs 1800 crore through internal resources alone.
There are big expansion plans on the way — a new 6.5-lakh tonne smelter that will make it the largest single million-tonne plant in the world, a new 1200 MW power plant, an alumina park for small industries to cluster around. New investment plans add up to Rs 18,500 crore in the next five years.