Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) Employees Request PM Modi To Release Their Pending Salary

Employees of Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) through their body Neelachal Executive Association (NEA) have made a fervent appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene for release of their arrear salary by selling inventory lying at NINL premises & resumption of plant production by merging NINL with  SAIL/RINL/NMDC. Copies of the letter signed by Ajit Kumar Pradhan, General Secretary (NEA), NINL, have also been sent to Promod Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary, PMO, Piyush Vedprakash Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Naveen Pattnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, Som Parkash, Minister of State, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Hardeep Singh Puri, Civil Aviation Minister & Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State for Finance, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Union Minister of State Ministry of Steel, Secretary Commerce, Secretary Steel, Chief Secretary Government of Odisha, Secretary Divestment, Additional Secretary & CMD MMTC, Chairman, MD & Other Directors of NINL and Promroters of NINL. The copy of the letter is reproduced here for the benefit for viewers of –

Sh Narendra Damodardas  Modi,
The Honourable Prime Minister.
Government of India.
South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi-110011

 Sub: Humble request for release of arrear salary of employees of Neelachal Ispat  Nigam Ltd (NINL) & resumption of plant production.

Honourable Sir,

At the outset we, NINL collective convey our heartfelt regards for giving us a chance to serve the nation by supplying Oxygen from our 418 TPD Oxygen Plant which is lying idle for last 3 years. Employees are working day and night to resume the oxygen production and expected production very soon.

NINL, Kalinganagar, Odisha, a 1.1 Million Ton Integrated Iron & Steel Plant is a joint venture between Govt. of India through MMTC (share 49.78%), & NMDC (share 10.1%), and Govt. of Odisha through IPICOL (12 %) & OMC (20.47%). NINL has distinguished itself as the highest producer & exporter of Pig Iron since 2002 in
India. The success of NINL is looked upon as the indicator of government initiative in establishing Odisha as a major player in steel sector not only in India but abroad as well. NINL, being the harbinger of prosperity to the area, requires continuous support from the government for its sustenance and future growth. 

NINL has undisputed land of 2500 acres, which is sufficient for expansion up to 10 million tonne, Steel Melting Shop (SMS), Blast Furnace, Coke Oven, Sinter Plant, Power Plant and a captive mine of 874.29 hectares, 110 million tons of estimated reserve. 

After the declaration of disinvestment on 8 Jan 2020 promoters have stopped infusion of funds leading to shut down of the operation of the plant in Mar 2020 during COVD-19 lock down period. As is understood, DIPAM under the aegis of Ministry of Finance has initiated disinvestment process. At present due to surge of severity of COVID 2nd wave around the nation, which will definitely causes an impact on the disinvestment process, creates a sense of panic among the employees anticipating future of NINL. Already 3 deadlines of disinvestment target are crossed. For no fault of the employees they are being deprived of salaries/remunerations for more than one year.  Around 10000 people those who are directly or indirectly associated with NINL including 644 are tribal people who have left their homestead are passing through severe mental turmoil. This has also lead to restlessness among employees and strikes on several occasions. 

A High power committee meeting co-chaired by Honourable Commerce & Industry Minister and Honourable Minister for PNG & Steel on Dt: 10.11.2020 was organised and minuted on Dt: 01.12.2020 related to NINL issues. From the contents of the decisions arrived during the high power meeting the following conclusions were drawn to meet employee’s arrear & salary: a) Creation of Corpus of Rs.150/175 Crore, b) Selling of iron ore from its captive mine and c) selling of inventory lying for long period in NINL premises.

Meeting resulted to break the stalemate which was prevailed for last nine months and from 2nd week of Feb’21 material despatch was started. In spite of more than 12 months of salary are pending, only part salary of April ’20 and May ’20 (Totalling about Rs 14 crores)  has been released by MMTC by 30 Mar 2021 against the total dispatch of  Rs 50 crores (approximately). Further loading and despatch was stopped by the employees of NINL from 22.04.2021 by demanding arrear salary. In this pandemic crises period MMTC the major promoter is not interested/willing to pay our legitimate dues or to discuss the issue when 12 months’ salary are due. It is a sorry state of affairs that 10 no of employees have died due to stoppage of salary & ongoing medical facility from March 2020. When many employees are affected of COVID-19, starving for their livelihood, yesterday we have lost one of our beloved colleague due to COVID-19, in such circumstances stoppage of salary for more than 12 months is inhumane. 

Presently it is very much  observed that MMTC is not taking its primary responsibility of selling the finished products and to pay arrear dues & salary in time so the shares of MMTC should be handed over to a suitable and capable PSU i.e. SAIL/RINL/NMDC. 

In view of uncertainty arises due to global meltdown of economy caused by COVID-19 pandemic it is very difficult for DIPAM to arrange quickly a strategic investor to save the glorious public asset. It is also circulated in the news –  – that disinvestment of NINL is paused due to current prevailing pandemic situation.

Steel Executives Federation of India also passed a resolution on Dt: 04.04.2021 for merger of all steel PSUs (SAIL & its subsidiary, RINL & its subsidiary, NINL, NMDC both steel & mining sector and MECON) which would help them to synergize their strengths and turn the weakness into opportunities and over benefits to the nation. Steel being an essential component in the growth rate and contributes heavily to the GDP of our country.

To maintain peace and industrial harmony and to save this glorious national asset NINL should be merged with steel PSU i.e. SAIL/RINL/NMDC.This can save the livelihood of 10000 people as well as the surrounding beneficiaries. After the merger with a steel PSU NINL will play a major role in the economic activity of the country as well as bringing industrial harmony in the region.

Hence we humbly request your good self to intervene for release of arrear salary by selling inventory lying at NINL premises & resumption of plant production should be started by merging NINL with SAIL/RINL/NMDC. 

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