Experts in country’s steel sector in knowledge of the critical condition of Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) which is cash-starved to run day-to-day show hail the initiative taken by the Union Steel Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan for its investment.
The fate of this Joint Venture of Union and State Government would have become worse had Pradhan not taken the timely decision of its strategic disinvestment which now opens up scope for its expansion, feel experts.
NINL is a joint venture company in which four CPSEs - MMTC, NMDC, BHEL and MECON and two State PSUs of Odisha Government - IPICOL and OMC are shareholders.
NINL, a 1 Million Ton Per Annum (MTPA) steel complex which has been crying for funds to run the show will now grow up to 10 MTPA with the strategic disinvestment.
Now, not only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has given 'in principle' approval for strategic disinvestment of equity shareholding of MMTC, NMDC, BHEL, OMC and IPICOL, it has also been rescued from the cash-crunch as NMDC has infused fresh funds. Meanwhile, NMDC has infused Rs.60 crore in NINL.
Sources in knowledge of the development said Union Minister for Steel, Pradhan played a crucial role for infusion of fresh funds for NINL from NMDC. Out of Rs. 80 crore, NMDC has provided Rs.60 crore and soon it will pay the rest amount, officials said.
With Union Ministry of Steel putting up first steel hub at Kalinga Nagar where NINL is located, its survival and expansion seem to be very crucial, feel experts.
Against this backdrop, Odisha Government is expected to infuse required funds for the ailing steel complex as both the State PSUs - OMC and IPICOL are major shareholders of the joint venture.
Odisha Government is expected to infuse at least Rs.250 crore in NINL and this will help out the joint venture to improve its bottom line for its share prices to be higher during disinvestment.
While Cenre is extending all out support for the NINL, similar support is required from the State Government, said a senior official in the Union Ministry of Steel.
Sources said Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy is taking up matter and soon a decision in this regard will be taken.
While NINL has urged the State government to infuse fresh funds worth Rs.250 crore on an urgent basis, a SOS has been sent to State administration recently, officials say.