Karunanidhi wants NLC exempt from divestment

Chennai, July 12 (IANS) DMK president M. Karunanidhi Friday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to exempt Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd (NLC) from the rule of having a minimum public shareholding of 10 percent or divest the five percent stake to state government undertakings.

In a letter to Singh, copy of which was released to the media here, Karunanidhi citing the rule 19 (7) of Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules 1957 said: "In the first place exemption may be given to NLC under the above-said rule. This will be in keeping with the demand of all the trade unions, political parties and general public. This will also be a lasting solution to the issue of disinvestment in regard to NLC."

He said if there is no other option except divestment then the five percent stakes could be sold to state government undertakings as per its suggestion considering them as public issue and not as institutional purchase.

Karunanidhi requested Singh to consider his plea favourably in the interest of both the employees and the institution and with a view to ensure industrial peace at NLC.

Around 27,000 workers are on strike since July 3 protesting against the centre's decision to divest five percent stake in NLC to raise around Rs.466 crore.

The Labour Progressive Front (LPF), the labour union wing of DMK, is the major union in NLC.

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