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Editorial: Wishes for the New Year

In December the Ministry of Trade and Industry (NHD) presented white paper no. 18, about companies in which the Norwegian state through the Ministry has proprietary interests. This is the way the NHD informs Parliament on the state proprietary interests and the wellbeing of the companies every fourth year. The white paper mentions, among other companies, Norsk Hydro, Kongsberg, Raufoss, and Olivin.
Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.
In December the Ministry of Trade and Industry (NHD) presented white paper no. 18, about companies in which the Norwegian state through the Ministry has proprietary interests. This is the way the NHD informs Parliament on the state proprietary interests and the wellbeing of the companies every fourth year. The white paper mentions, among other companies, Norsk Hydro, Kongsberg, Raufoss, and Olivin.

NorWatch has on several occasions asked for a more active practising of NHD's ownership, a practising which in our opinion should reflect the human rights concerns of the principal speeches.

The Ministry has thought it necessary to comment on Norsk Hydro's Utkal project in this otherwise thin publication. It is said, among other things (and we must admit that we have heard this before): "The Ministry presupposes that Norsk Hydro assesses all the ethical aspects of their bauxite project in Orissa, and that the company applies the same ethical standards in India as they do at home".

The paper also says that Norsk Hydro's profits as a percentage of the equity capital has increased from 18% in 1993, to 37% in 1997. The surplus in 1997 was more than ten billion kroner (1,3 billion USD). Half of this surplus was transferred to the government.

The Ministry should keep this in mind: not all wishes for the New Year can come true at the same time. 

Norwatch Newsletter 23/98

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