State BJP to suggest merger of steel plant with NMDC

Move will help in leveraging the advantages of both for mutual benefit, says Madhav

MLC P.V.N. Madhav has said that the BJP leaders in State are opposed to the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel Plant(VSP), which was established after 40 years of struggle.

The decision was taken as part of the plan to raise ₹1,75,000 crore through disinvestment of public sector units (PSUs) and the third party analysis of losses of the PSUs. Air India, BSNL, LIC were in the list and later RINL-VSP was added. “We are opposed to the blanket privatisation of VSP,” he told the media here on Sunday.

“Merging RINL-VSP with the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) is the best option as the VSP is strong in steel technology and NMDC in mining. It would help in leveraging the advantages of both for mutual benefit. This way, the VSP will soon make profits. We plan to put forth this proposal to the Centre through the BJP State unit,” Mr. Madhav said

He recalled the efforts of the BJP leaders, which had prevented the privatisation of Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels(BHPV) and the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI), the Vizag-based PSUs. When HSL was in the red, the BJP had demanded its take over by the Defence sector and today it was on the road to recovery and profits, he said.

Similarly, BHPV was merged with BHEL. “When the Narendra Modi government had proposed privatisation of DCI, the Vizag-headquartered PSU, we (former MLA P. Vishnu Kumar Raju, former MP K. Haribabu and I) met Union Minister of Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari and impressed upon him on retaining it as a PSU. Strikes were organised for over six months and finally the DCI was protected,” he said.

‘Privatisation inevitable’

Replying to queries, Mr. Madhav said that privatisation was inevitable and no political party was opposed to it, except the Communists. Captive mines were not allotted to the VSP even during the UPA-1 and UPA-2 rule and all parties were responsible for it. Even now, the maximum number employees in VSP were working under private contractors, who run the show, he said.

Mr. Madhav said local ancillaries were not being encouraged and most of the products sourced from other States.

The land available in the VSP could be utilised to set up a slag cement plant to utilise the flyash produced by the steel plant, he said.

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