TDP MLA resigns in protest against proposed privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant 

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February 07, 2021 11:02 AM

Vizag Steel Plant sale: The TDP leader said that the locals can't digest the plant's privatisation. "The plant has had losses as it doesn't have its own mines," he said. Rao further said that chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy must put pressure on Prime Mminister Narendra Modi.

Ganta Srinivasa Rao, TDP MLA from Visakhapatnam North

RINL, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant privatisation: Ganta Srinivasa Rao, TDP MLA from Visakhapatnam North constituency, has resigned in protest against proposed privatisation of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) in Visakhapatnam. His move came a day after hundreds of employees of the steel plant took out a protest rally against the proposed divestment of RINL, the corporate entity of the steel-maker.

The TDP leader said that the locals can’t digest the plant’s privatisation. “The plant has had losses as it doesn’t have its own mines,” he said. Rao further said that chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy must put pressure on Prime Mminister Narendra Modi. “I will launch a non-political joint action committee as a move of agitation asking the Centre to revoke its decision,” the TDP legislator said.

On Friday, the protestors demanded that the Centre withdraw its proposal and save the steel plant as it was one of the biggest and profitable public sector undertakings in the state. The Union Cabinet cleared the privatisation of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) on February 3. The Centre has budgeted Rs 1.75 lakh crore from stake sale in 2021-22.

“The CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) had, on January 27, 2021, given in-principle approval for 100% strategic disinvestment of the GoI (government of India) shareholding in RINL along with management control by way of privatisation,” Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary of DIPAM (Department of Investment & Public Asset Management) tweeted on February 3.

The Andhra Pradesh chief minister has written to Prime Minister Modi, requesting him to reconsider the disinvestment plans of RINL Visakhapatnam and explore other opportunities to put the plant back on track.

In Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nimala Sitharaman proposed to privatise and transfer of number of national assets to private players. During her budget speech, she said a number of transactions namely BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, IDBI Bank, BEML, Pawan Hans, Neelachal Ispat Nigam limited among others would be completed in 2021-22. She has further proposed to transfer assets of national highways, airports, freight corridor of railways, oil and gas pipeline, and some warehousing assets.

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