National Aluminum Company Ltd (NALCO) on Thursday approached the Supreme Court (SC), after the Orissa High Court last month had allowed Vedanta Limited to participate in the tender floated for the sale of its surplus alumina.
NALCO, a Navratna central public sector enterprise based in Odisha, is a leading producer of low-cost metallurgical grade alumina in the world. Vedanta’s bid to buy NALCO’s surplus alumina, not used for captive consumption, has been a long standing contention between both aluminium producers.
“An SLP (special leave petition) has been filed with the SC and is due to come up for hearing on April 29”, said a high ranking source in NALCO. Vedanta spokesperson declined to comment on the SLP, citing the entire matter “sub-judice”.
NALCO had previously disallowed Vedanta from participating in its tender for the sale of alumina on the ground that registration of the customers for export sale is only open to overseas customers and if Vedanta was interested in the tender, it could do so through its sister concern based in London.
In March, the Odisha High Court judgement had stated: The argument of the opposite party-NALCO cannot be accepted because in on one hand, it refuses the petitioner to participate in the tender, on the other hand, the opposite party has allowed the petitioner to apply through its sister concern based in London and spend huge Forex to transport to London and call it back for its use at SEZ, does not find favour with the commercial sense.
Vedanta’s SEZ (Special Economic Zone) unit is located in Jharsuguda district of Odisha. The court had also added that if Vedanta is allowed to participate “then the Indian raw material can be used within India and will serve the purpose of new policy of the Central Government i.e. Make in India”.