The Government has asked state-owned aluminium producer Nalco to freeze fresh recruitments and take other cost-cutting measures to tide over the present global economic downturn.
"The aim of the company should be to lower its cost of production. For this, labour cost is one of the crucial factors... Fresh recruitment should not be made in the normal circumstances," a senior government official in the privy of Nalco's recent quarterly performance review said.
The board of Navratna PSU Nalco has already decided to put on hold the recruitment of nearly 700 employees to cut down on the company's operating expenses amid falling demand and prices of the metal.
The country's second largest aluminium producer Nalco was to recruit people for manning its additional production lines in Orissa plants. The company has embarked on a Rs 4,400-crore expansion, which would increase its aluminium capacity to 4.6 lakh tonnes from 3.5 lakh tonnes by August this year.
The company is also augmenting its alumina capacity to 2.1 million tonnes from 1.5 million tonnes by March besides commissioning two power plants of 120 MW each by February and June, respectively.
Besides applying brakes on recruitment, the government has advised Nalco to do benchmarking against the world's best aluminium companies to assess its cost of production.