31,000 Employees From This Govt Steel Plant Protest Against Privatization; Will Govt Listen?
As per latest reports coming in, the protest against privatization by the employees of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant has intensified.
In March, we reported to you that the workers of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), which is also known as Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, decided to go on an indefinite strike to protest against the move of privatization.
Employees At Vizag Steel Plant Protest Against Privatization
About 17,000 permanent workers and 14,000 contract employees work for the RINL. According to RINL management, the key reason for the disinvestment was that the steel plant had been continuously losing money for a long time.
It made a loss of Rs. 1,369 crore in 2017-18. While it managed a brief resurgence in 2018-19, with a net profit of 97 crores, it plummeted into massive losses in 2019-20, totalling 3,910 crores.
A leader of the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee (Committee for conservation of Visakha steel) said, “In spite of continued statewide agitations for nearly six months, which have received support from all parties in the state including the ruling YSRCP, and both the Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy as well as Leader of Opposition Chandrababu Naidu asking the Union government to rethink the decision, DIPAM has gone ahead and called bids for legal advisors and transaction advisors. They will then be tasked with finding the highest bidding buyers for the steel plant amongst the corporate giants.”
Last Date For Submission of Proposals Set By The Government
On July 7, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) of the Union Ministry of Finance issued notifications that invited engagement of transaction advisors and legal advisors to put forth their proposals in order to complete 100% of the disinvestment of government holdings in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) or the Vizag Steel Plant.
The last date for the submission of the proposals is July 28.
The steel plant was established in 1977 and after several protestors have even lost their lives, after which, the Union government was asked to keep the steel plant in the public sector.