Thousands of employees belonging to the Rasthtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), one of the largest state-run steel plants in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam, took out a huge rally in the port city today, to protest the Central government’s decision of the privatisation of the mega steel plant.
The employees have formed an umbrella organisation in the name of joint action committee (JAC) comprising the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and have decided to step up the agitation in protest against the privatisation move.
Though having an installed capacity of 21 million tonnes per year, the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant has presently been operating with a production capacity of only 7.3 million tonnes.
Katam S.S. Chandra Rao, Joint secretary, Steel Executives Federation of India told www.indianpsu.com that we should remember recent comments from Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari who said that “It will be difficult to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of making India a $5 trillion economy if the steel and cement prices keep going up.
Big players in the steel industry are indulging in cartelisation to jack-up prices”.
Rao adds that instead of strategic sale, the government has to create a single state owned mega steel PSU by merging all Government owned steel PSUS ( RINL,NMDC,NINL with SAIL ) . This will helps bring in more efficiency, increase productivity, lower fixed costs will helps the lower production cost of steel, ultimately consumer will get benefits.
He says that “steel plays vital role for development of infrastructure like highways, railways, housing, promotion of industries etc., hence steel sector should consider as strategic industry, for which Government has to speed up its expansion plan through PSUS towards achieving steel production to 300 MT by 2030. Other wise India may be a importer in coming years to meet the needs according to projected demand in infrastructure and housing. Moreover of all steel PSUs will certainly enhance the competency and competitiveness of state owned steel sectors in India among Global steel players”.