Jana Sena Chief Pawan Kalyan demanded that an Assembly session should be convened on Vizag Steel privatisation issue. In a video statement posted on Twitter, Pawan Kalyan said that Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP is responsible for fighting for the steel plant issue and reassuring the workers that they are in power. In his statement, he urged YCP MPs to fight and protect the Vizag steel plant instead of doing padayatras.
వైజాగ్ స్టీల్ ప్లాంట్ విషయంపై పోరాడి, భాదితులకు అండగా భరోసా కల్పించాల్సిన బాధ్యత @YSRCParty ప్రభుత్వంపై ఉంది, పాదయాత్రలు కాకుండా ఢిల్లీలో వైసీపీ పార్లమెంట్ సభ్యులు పోరాటం చేసి వైజాగ్ స్టీల్ ప్లాంట్ ను కాపాడాలి – @JanaSenaParty అధినేత శ్రీ @PawanKalyan గారు.#SaveVizagSteelPlant pic.twitter.com/INIBCjIGZC
— JanaSena Shatagni (@JSPShatagniTeam) March 18, 2021
“We are asking the YCP government only one thing. Convene an Assembly session and discuss about the steel plant. Speak about agitation and the problems being faced by the steel plant oustees and let the people in the state know about it,” Pawan Kalyan was quoted saying in an official statement.
“The YCP government has the onerous task of standing in support of the steel plant workers. It is not enough to conduct padayatras and giving statements. If you are sincere in your effort, you should convene an Assembly session if you want to work for the people of Andhra Pradesh. We will support you when you do that with sincerity,” he added.
Andhra Pradesh-based Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee, a committee of trade unions and employees has plans to intensify protest against the privatisation of the stee plant and has called for a nationwide bandh on March 26, 2021.
Vizag Steel Plant Privatisation
On February 3, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had cleared the decision to privatise RINL to raise Rs 1.75 lakh crores. The announcement came after CCEA gave in-principle approval to disinvest the Vizag steel plant on January 27, 2021. It gave a final go-ahead for 100 percent strategic disinvestment of the Centres shareholding in RINL.
Soon after the announcement, Left parties and state labour unions began protesting against the move to privatise the steel plant and on February 6 they staged a protest to save the public sector enterprise which employs more than 20,000 people directly and indirectly.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Februaty 7 wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the Centres’ decision. In his letter, he urged the PM to reconsider the privatisation in order to save livelihoods of more than 20,000 employees and explore other opportunities to revive the plant.
Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) or RINL-VSP has been posting losses since 2014-15 and have found repayment of its debt difficult. Due to unfavourable global steel cycle, slowdown, pandemic in addition to the high cost of production, the Government of India decided to privatise the plant to cut its losses. The Chief Minister in his letter had informed that the plant currently produces 7.3 million tonnes of steel and has availed loans to modernise and expand its capacity. These loans are one of the reasons behind their financial strain.