Vizag Steel Plant privatisation: CM YS Jagan seeks appointment with PM Modi

March 9, 2021 0 Comments

In light of the latest statement issued by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman regarding the privatisation of Vizag Steel Plant (VSP), Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The letter sought an appointment with the Prime Minister to present alternatives to the Central Government’s decision of 100% disinvestment of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) upon VSP’s privatisation.

The letter sent by the CM sheds light on the importance and sentimental value held by Vizag Steel Plant for the people of Andhra and that many lives were lost during the struggle to establish this seashore plant. Stating that the plant had a good performance and fetched a positive net worth between 2002-2015, CM Jagan intends to put forth options to avoid privatisation of VSP. The options include continuing operations to achieve a turnaround, captive iron ore mines to reduce input costs, financial restructuring and monetising the land to make the company cash-rich. The delegation, led by Jagan Mohan Reddy, which is expected to meet with PM Modi, upon appointment, will include all party members and representatives from trade unions to discuss the Centre’s proposal to privatise Vizag Steel Plant.

On 8 March 2021, questions were raised by Visakhapatnam MP MVV Satyanarayana and Araku MP Goddeti Madhavi regarding the privatisation of the Vizag Steel Plant in Lok Sabha. Answering their queries, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the Centre has decided to divest its stake in the Plant. This fueled protests and agitations, blocking traffic at Kurmannapalem junction.

Going back in time, to 1966, when Indira Gandhi initially dismissed the proposal of setting up the plant in Visakhapatnam, natives of Andhra Pradesh took the issue to the streets by rallying and protesting in peace. At one such rally was when things took a violent turn with the police force initiating open fire on the protestors, killing over a dozen people. Considering the struggles and sacrifices of citizens of Andhra Pradesh, the journey of setting up the Vizag Steel Plant has many emotions tied to it. Now, with the Centre approving privatisation of the Vizag Steel Plant, the city has been witnessing a similar trend of protests and agitation with the protesters hoping for the decision to be reverted.


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