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India mulls Privatizing Dredging Corporation

The government of India is looking to privatize state run Dredging Corporation of India (DCI).  

"A proposal for disinvestment of Dredging Corporation of India Limited is under consideration of the Government of India," a government press release said quoting the Minister of State for Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Pon. Radhakrishnan.

 The proposal is aimed at upgrading technology, improving capability, infusing capital to buy necessary dredgers and equipments and instilling experienced professional management to optimize the operations of DCI.

 The present stake of the government in the PSU is 73.47%, which would be reduced to 22.47% if the government goes ahead with the stake sale. DCI, the only listed PSU in Visakhapatnam, has a net worth of around Rs 1,500 crore (USD 233 million).  

 The government, which holds 73.47% in the state-owned company might sell off 51% of the company and it is said that this sale of the stake would fetch about Rs 1,400 crore to the exchequer.

The DCI unions are opposed to the idea of privatizing DCI since it will prove detrimental to the interests of the employees and of the public. Moreover, the employees of DCI say that selling a company like DCI will endanger the safety and security of the Indian ports which rely on DCI during crisis and when the private players fail to come to their rescue.

 They said that DCI, with a fleet of 17 dredgers, was among the top 10 dredging companies in the world and "the most capable and reliable one in the country."


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