CPI urges PM to review govt's decision to privatise Vizag Steel Plant

CPI general secretary D Raja has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, soliciting him to reconsider the government's decision to privatize the Visakhapatnam (Vizag) Steel Plant.

Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs cleared the privatization of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd, popularly known as the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant triggering an uproar among its employees.

''We strongly oppose the disastrous proposal of your government to implement 100 percent strategic disinvestment in Visakhapatnam Steel Plant by way of privatization. Visakhapatnam Steel Plant is a Navaratna company under the Ministry of Steel, Government of India.

''Over 50 years ago, 23,000 acres of farmland were acquired to set up the steel plant. Farmers were not paid their money properly. Now the land is worth lakhs of crores of rupees. If the present move is allowed, a private company will take over the steel plant and grab the land,'' Raja said in his letter to Modi.

He alleged that the government has made no effort to explore all possibilities to run the plant. No iron-ore mine has been allotted to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, he said, adding that all private steel plants get iron-ore mines and pointing out that lakhs of people are directly and indirectly working for the steel plant.

''People of Andhra Pradesh, political parties and trade unions have been opposing the disastrous move of privatization. Even the state government headed by Jagan Mohan Reddy, pointing out that the plant stands as a testimony to the will of the Telugu people, has asked the Union government to reconsider its decision.

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