The Central Government has given clarity on the privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP). TDP Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar posed a question in the Rajya Sabha session on the issue this Tuesday. In response, the Union Minister of State for Finance, Dr Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, stated that the Centre had decided to go for 100 percent privatisation and had already started the process of strategic disinvestment of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. It was cleared that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had decided to withdraw 100% of the investment by privatising the Centre’s stake in the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant under the strategic investment withdrawal from VSP.
The Andhra Pradesh State Government has repeatedly appealed to the Centre for reconsideration on the privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. The Centre had also issued a notification for the appointment of a transaction advisor, and a legal advisor, so as to implement the disinvestment process. On Tuesday, Visakhapatnam MP, MVV Satyanarayana, protested against the privatisation of VSP at the Parliament by holding placards of “VIZAG STEEL PLANT – NOT FOR SALE.”
ఈ రోజు పార్లమెంట్ సమావేశాల్లో విశాఖపట్నం స్టీల్ ప్లాంట్ ప్రైవేటీకరణను వ్యతిరేకిస్తూ స్పీకర్ పోడియం వద్ద వైఎస్సార్ కాంగ్రెస్ పార్టీ ఎంపీలతో కలిసి ప్లకార్డు చూపిస్తూ నిరసన తెలుపుతున్న విశాఖపట్నం పార్లమెంట్ సభ్యులు ఎంవీవీ సత్యనారాయణ గారు pic.twitter.com/xQZEROhOeV
— MVV Satyanarayana Official (@MP_MvvOfficial) July 20, 2021
Dr Karad said that the steel sector falls in the category of non-strategic sectors, as per the new Public Sector Enterprises Policy. He stated that through the privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the capital will facilitate the modernisation and expansion of the plant, as well as the implementation of better management practices. This will then result in increased productivity and direct, and indirect, employment.
He also claimed that once fully privatised, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant with its corporate name Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), will contribute to the economic development of Andhra Pradesh. The Union Minister of State for Finance said that they would reconsider the share purchase agreement, keeping in mind the objections and difficulties raised by the employees working in the company and partners.
It has also been clarified that apart from the land on which the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant is located, the additional land, and other non-core assets, are not a part of the transaction. Therefore, they will not be included in the withdrawal of investment.