Sterlite Industries has emerged as the countrys highest tax payer in the private sector with a payment of Rs 1,117 crore in the first six months of the current financial year.
The consolidated financial numbers of Sterlite Industries showed that the companys current tax payment in the first half of FY 2006-07 was ahead of Tata Steel (Rs 1,012 crore) and Reliance Industries (Rs 733 crore).
However, the Vendanta-group company stood third in the table of all tax paying companies, during the period, after public sector giants ONGC (Rs 4,517 crore) and NTPC (Rs 1,417 crore).
The others in the top 10 list include Nalco (Rs 644 crore), ITC (Rs 593 crore), Indian Oil (Rs 570 crore), Grasim Industries (Rs 463 crore) and Hindalco (Rs 450 crore).
In 2005-06, Sterlite was at the seventh position with payment of Rs 804 crore. The top six were ONGC (Rs 7,123 crore), Indian Oil (Rs 2,144 crore), Tata Steel (Rs 1,649 crore), Reliance Industries (Rs 931 crore), Nalco (Rs 845 crore) and NTPC (Rs 817 crore)
Industry experts attributed the huge tax payment by Sterlite to the companys improved performance in the first half of 2006-07. The companys consolidated turnover stood at Rs 11,321 crore in the first six months of the current year against Rs 13,127 crore in 2005-06.
The companys performance has been rising over the past few quarters owing to soaring prices of aluminium, zinc and copper.
The mining company plans to raise $2 billion from the US investors to fund its proposed foray into the power sector. It has filed the prospectus with the Securities & Exchange Commission fortnight ago.
In the filing it has said its recent levels of profitability and operating margins were owing to ascension of international copper, zinc and aluminium commodity prices. It also cautioned that its earnings could shrink if the prices slip.
The initial listing price of ADS could not be less that Rs 531.84, as per Sebi guidelines. The stock today closed at Rs 570.85 on the BSE.