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Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal Pitches for Privatisation of Public Sector Companies to Improve Efficiency

Anil Agarwal, founder and chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc, speaking at the News18 Rising India Summit in New Delhi on Friday. (Photo: CNN-News18)

Anil Agarwal, founder and chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc, speaking at the News18 Rising India Summit in New Delhi on Friday. (Photo: CNN-News18)

Speaking at the News18 Rising India Summit in New Delhi on Friday, the founding chairman of Vedanta Resources said the government can hold say 30% of the shares and the rest can be run by private CEOs.

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New Delhi: Anil Agarwal, founder and chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc, batted for the privatisation of state-run companies to make them function more efficiently at the News18 Rising India Summit in New Delhi on Friday.

"Why can't we have 50 government companies who will be regarded globally? Why can't their reigns be handed to people like me? Why can't we have Indian CEOs? The government can hold say 30% of the shares and the rest can be run by private CEOs," said Agarwal.

He expressed interest and confidence in Indian private market as well.

The founding chairman of Vedanta, while talking about the Supreme Court banning mining leases in Goa, where his group has large stakes, said, "We have to set environment goals for ourselves. But if something has not been broken, why fix it?"

Goa, prior to the ban, exported iron ore in excess of 50 million tons annually, before the Shah Commission report found that government agencies implicated government agencies associated with mining of iron ore and exports, and also nearly all major mining industrial houses in the scam, along with the then Chief Minister Digambar Kamat.

Iron ore extraction in the state was hence banned by the state and central governments, followed by a complete ban by the Supreme Court in 2012 on extraction and export. However, the Supreme Court lifted the ban a year later and placed an annual ceiling of 20 million tons of ore extraction for the state's mining industry.

The new case emerged when the state government in 2014-15 renewed the mining leases in favour of the same mining companies accused by the Shah Commission of illegal mining. This decision of the state government was challenged in the court by Goa foundation.

The Supreme Court last month cancelled the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to 88 companies in Goa in 2015. The court provided time till March 15 to mining lease holders, who have been granted a second renewal in violation of its previous directions, to manage their affairs.


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