Vizag Steel Plant privatisation: Centre makes volte-face, says disinvestment plans on
KTR proved right in viewing the Centre’s announcement on the issue of privatisation move of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant with an eye of suspicion.
The Union Ministry of Steel has made a volte-face and backtracked on its Thursday’s announcement about the rollback of its plan to privatise the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP).
The Ministry of Steel on Friday put out a press release on Friday afternoon saying that “there is no freeze on the disinvestment process of RINL (Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd) .”
“Clarifying about some media reports regarding hold on the disinvestment process of RINL, the Ministry of Steel said that disinvestment process of RINL is under progress and efforts are being made by the company and supported by the Government to improve the performance of RINL and keep it as a going concern.”
It may be recalled that Union Minister of State for Steel Faggan Singh Kulaste, who came to Visakhapatnam to meet the management and unions of RINL about the fate of the steel plant on Thursday, announced that the Union Government had currently put on hold the plan for disinvestment in RINL. “We are not considering privatisation of the Vizag Steel Plant for now. We are working on strengthening it,” he said.
Though soon after KTR had said that the move of Telangana Chief Minister had mounted pressure and yielded the desired result, he was very skeptical about Faggan Singh’s announcement. The minister in a press release issued around 7.45 pm on Thursday itself described the Union Minister’s announcement on the rollback of privatisation as a diversionary tactic, as the allotment of Bailadila iron ore mines in Chhattisgarh to Adani group was exposed.
It was just an attempt to divert the public attention from the illegal allotment of the mines. “If the Centre is so committed not to privatising the VSP and is desirous of strengthening it, it should immediately allot captive mines to the steel plant. Since we exposed the nexus between the Centre and Adani, they made a feeble rollback announcement,” KTR pointed out.
The ambiguous statement of Faggan Singh Kulaste on the steel plant seemed dicey as he kept on fumbling while talking to the media. KTR said that the Telangana Government and the BRS would continue to mount pressure until the privatisation move of the VSP was withdrawn and Bayyaram steel plant was allotted mines.
In keeping with the prophecy of KTR, the Centre issued a clarification by Friday afternoon, proving the minister right.