Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has hit back at the critics of the State government’s proposal to allot Bayyaram iron ore mines to public sector enterprise Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited’s Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

The political parties which have not objected to allocation of mines to benefit individuals are criticising the decision of the government that will create employment to local people and will be in the interests of the State as a whole, he said.

Launching ‘Amma Hastham’, an integrated food basket kit for white card-holders at Vepagunta village near here on Saturday, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy said part of the agreement entered into with RINL was development of local ancillary industry worth Rs.1,000 crore in Bayyaram region.

He was critical of the “narrow-minded’’ statements from leaders of the TRS and other parties that resources of one region were being diverted for the development of other region.

The government represented the entire State and was not working in favour of a particular region. Mineral wealth, including the iron ore that was proposed to be given to Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, was a national wealth and did not belong to a single State.

Thinking on the regional and sub-regional lines about the national wealth bordered on the ‘bsurd’.

The Congress government took the decision to allot Bayyaram mines to the steel plant which was a Central government organisation. It did not take decisions to benefit individuals, he added.

More ever, the RINL had promised to create 25,000 more jobs by expanding its present capacity at a cost of Rs.42,000 crore.

The Chief Minister said pressure would be mounted on RINL to set up a steel plant at Bayyaram.