Ramnath claimed that after the closure of the plant, sulphuric acid prices shot up 4-5 fold, while copper prices rose by 5-10 per cent and phosphatic acid prices went up by 20 per cent. Besides, it has taken a huge toll on the local economy, with nearly 30,000 people losing their jobs.
He said the impact on Sterlite is yet to be assessed as the company had, in any case, gone for a maintenance shut down in March. Sterlite Copper's annual turnover is around Rs 200 billion, with a 5-6 per cent profit. The company has been contributing around 2-3 per cent to Vedanta Group's profit.
Holding 'external forces' responsible for the mayhem, Ramnath was optimistic that his group is on a better wicket and claimed that the people had also started realising that external elements have misguided them. He claimed local residents were pressurising the state administration to reopen the factory.
"Our plant has been shut down for maintenance. In the last five to six years, there has been absolutely no incident. Suddenly, these issues are cropping up from nowhere. That's why we feel that there had been some kind of an instigation. Normally, the public won't react to this extent," said Ramnath.
On whether the company would look at others states for its plant-II, Ramnath said, "We have not thought about it."