HAL plans Rs20,000 crore modernization push

HAL plans Rs20,000 crore modernization push

Bangalore: Defence major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Thursday announced a Rs20,000 crore plan for modernizing its plants and hinted at the possibility of the company going public and being listed on stock market.

HAL director (Finance) D. Shivamurthi said the company plans to spend Rs20,000 crore for modernising its facilities over the next ten years which would be funded through internal accruals.

The Bangalore-headquartered HAL already has reserves of Rs9,000 crore and proposed to add Rs1,500 crore every year, he told reporters on the sidelines of ‘Aero India 2011’ here.

According to company officials, HAL has 19 production divisions and ten R&D centres in the country. Shivamurti said the company plans to design, develop and manufacture 1,500 helicopters over the next ten years.

The company has 1 trillion worth of orders to be delivered over the next ten years, officials said.

Shivamurthi indicated that HAL is keen to go public and be listed on the stock exchanges but added that no final decision has been taken.

He declined to talk about the extent of disinvestment and said the final call would be taken by the government.

He said the issue of disinvestment is being discussed internally and the proposal has not gone to the board for approval.

Shivamurti said going public, would make the company to “do better and much more responsive" even as he noted that it is also the government policy to go in for more and more disinvestment in strategic sectors.

Company officials noted that Bharat Electronics Limited and BEML Ltd, which are also under the ministry of defence like HAL, are already listed.

Officials also said that the naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is expected to make its maiden flight in eight weeks.

Shivamurti also said that, “Our (HAL’s) turnover last year was Rs11,500 crore; this year (2010-11) it’s likely to be Rs12,600 crore".