The Tata Group on Wednesday assured the UK government that the proposed sale of its steel business in that country will not be a hasty affair and it will take all possible measures to protect the interests of over 15,000 employees who stand to lose their jobs in the event of Tata Steel shutting down operations in the absence of a buyer.
British business minister Sajid Javid, who flew down to Mumbai late Tuesday night, met Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry to discuss the road map of Tata Steel’s exit from the loss making units, conveyed the UK government’s concerns to Mistry, sources said. The proposed sale of Tata Steel’s UK units announced last month has meanwhile snowballed into a major political issue in UK with political parties and unions calling for interim nationalization of Tata Steel, UK.
Sources say that in the meeting Mistry sought to allay concerns that Tata Steel could shut down UK operations completely in the coming weeks to cut down operating losses to the tune of 1 million pound per day according some estimates. According to sources it was decided in the meeting that an independent auditor will be appointed to oversee the sale process and will be jointly assisted by the Tata Group and the UK government. In addition it was also agreed that the sale will be completed in a time bound manner, which sources said could vary anywhere between 4 to 6 months depending on the kind of buyer interest Tata Group receives.