Buy back and delist Neyveli Lignite, Jayalalithaa tells PM

Chennai, May 23 (IANS) Opposing any disinvestment in integrated mining-cum-power generating Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd. (NLC), Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday suggested to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the central government can buy back the shares held by public and go for delisting.

In a letter to Manmohan Singh Singh Thursday, the text of which was released to the media here, Jayalalithaa expressed her opposition to the central government’s move to off-load five percent stake in the NLC.

“It is incorrect to state that there is no option to disinvesting a further five percent of the share holding in Neyveli Lignite Corporation. There are clearly two options. Neyveli Lignite Corporation can be delisted by buying back the 6.44 percent currently in public hands through the buy-back mechanism available under SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) regulations.”

“Alternatively, the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules, 1957, can be amended to make a special exemption for NLC by introducing a necessary proviso under Rule 19(2)(c),” she said.

According to her, any proposal to disinvest even a small portion of the share-holding will lead to considerable labour unrest and any disruption of power supply from NLC will affect Tamil Nadu which is already suffering from acute power shortage.

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