Special Correspondent

‘A great injustice done to steel plant’

Move to disinvest 26 p.c. of VSP’s share condemned

VSP issue will be made a major poll plank: CITU

VISAKHAPATNAM: Raw material security was the most important factor for running an industry in a successful way and the Central and State Governments must ensure that Visakhapatnam Steel Plant was allotted captive iron ore mines, CITU national secretary and president of Steel Workers Federation of India (SWFI) Ardhendu Dakshi said here on Friday.

“The Central and State Governments have done a great injustice to the VSP by ignoring the demand for captive mines when the plant has made a remarkable recovery and is in expansion stage. Private parties have been allotted mines but they have not set up plants and exporting the iron ore while the public sector steel plants like VSP are facing huge expenditure on iron ore,” Mr. Dakshi said at a press conference.

CITU has been demanding stopping of iron ore exports and ASOCHEM too made the demand in view of the deposits lasting for only 30 to 35 years, he pointed out. SWFI was of the opinion that a strong movement was necessary on the part of workers as well as people of Visakhapatnam to achieve captive iron ore mines, he said.

Mr. Dakshi also condemned the move to disinvest 26 per cent of VSP’s share saying that it was a move aimed at gradual privatisation of the plant. When VSP was in red the Government did not help it much but when it made a turn around it was trying to privatise it. He called upon the people of Andhra Pradesh to once again resist the move to disinvest as they had done in the past.

TSR criticised

President of district CITU A. Ajay Sarma said captive mines were not allotted to VSP to make it sick so that the take over would be easy for private companies. Rajya Sabha Member T. Subbarami Reddy should be ashamed of himself for not getting the mines for VSP when he was the Union Minister of State for Mines and publicly accept his failure and tender an apology for the people, he said.

The VSP employees were determined to protect the plant and a large-scale agitation was being planned during March by involving people also and the VSP issue would be made the major election issue, he added.

President of VSP CITU Ayodhya Ramu was also present.