State-run aluminium company NALCO's chief A K Srivastava, who was caught allegedly taking bribe and is in CBI custody now, has been suspended by the government.
The mines ministry suspended Srivastava based on CBI charges, a top official said. B L Bagra, Director (Finance), has been given the additional charge of chairman-cum-managing director till further orders, the official added.
"Mines minister Dinsha Patel and senior ministry officials went through the CBI report. Based on the developments, Srivastava has been suspended and the senior most NALCO official B L Bagra has been given charge of CMD till further orders," the official said.
The CBI on Friday arrested Srivastva, his wife and two others in a bribery case and recovered about 10 kgs of gold bricks and jewellery valued at around Rs. 2.13 crores as also Rs. 30 lakh from them.
A Delhi court on Saturday remanded all the four accused in CBI custody till March 3.
Besides Srivastava and his wife Chandini, the other two alleged middle man Bhushan Lal Bajaj and his wife Anita.
National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) is Asia's largest integrated aluminium producer.
The Bhubaneshwar-headquartered Navratna company produced 15.92 lakh tonnes of alumina last fiscal and has a target of producing 16.80 lakh tonnes of alumina this fiscal. NALCO was adjudged for the best listed central public sector undertaking for 2008-09. Srivastava had received the award from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in December last year.
The company has chalked out an ambitious expansion plan of Rs. 58,000. As part of its plan, it is setting up a 5 lakh tonne smelter and an integrated 1,250 MW power plant in Indonesia. This will entail a cost of about Rs. 18,000 crore.
The expansion plans include 5 MTPA smelter plant and 1,260 MW power plant at a cost Rs. 16,000 crore in Orissa.
The PSU has been scouting for mineral assets, particularly bauxite, copper, coal and uranium, in countries like Chile, Namibia and Indonesia.
The Centre holds 87.15% stake in NALCO. It had a turnover of Rs. 5,548 crore and posted a profit of Rs. 814 crore for 2009-10.