Earlier this month, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) cleared the privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

Protest by scores of people from CPI party at the site of Vishaka steel plantFile photo
news Politics Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 20:32

CPI general secretary D Raja has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to reconsider the government's decision to privatise the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. Earlier this month, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) cleared the privatisation of RINL, popularly known as the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant or the Vizag Steel Plant, triggering an uproar among its employees.

"We strongly oppose the disastrous proposal of your government to implement 100 per cent strategic disinvestment in Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (RINL) by way of privatisation. Visakhapatnam Steel Plant is a Navaratna company under the Ministry of Steel, Government of India.

"Over 50 years ago, 23,000 acres of farm land were acquired to set up the steel plant. Farmers were not paid their money properly. Now the land is worth lakhs of crores of rupees. If the present move is allowed, a private company will take over the steel plant and grab the land," Raja said in his letter to Modi.

He alleged that the government has made no effort to explore all possibilities to run the plant. No iron-ore mine has been allotted to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, he said, adding that all private steel plants get iron-ore mines and pointing out that lakhs of people are directly and indirectly working for the steel plant.

"People of Andhra Pradesh, political parties and trade unions have been opposing the disastrous move of privatisation. Even the state government headed by Jagan Mohan Reddy, pointing out that the plant stands as a testimony to the will of the Telugu people, has asked the Union government to reconsider its decision.

"While opposing the privatisation of the steel plant, our party -- the Communist Party of India -- demands that the government should cancel the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and immediately allot iron-ore mines," Raja said.


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