Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Members of the Legislative Council, cutting across party lines, on Wednesday demanded that the Government stop all operations of the private-owned Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Limited (JVSL), which, they said, had defaulted in its payments to the Government over the past seven years.

Participating in a debate on Budget proposals, Opposition Leader H.K. Patil said that JVSL had been purchasing raw material worth Rs. 2 crore from the Government every day. The overall due from JVSL to the Government was over Rs. 1,000 crore, he said. Even the annual report of the Comptroller and Auditor General had made certain observations on JVSL in different contexts, he added.

Holding top bureaucrats responsible for the revenue loss, Mr. Patil and his party colleagues said none of the Ministers of the departments concerned, including those who had been Ministers in the past, were fully aware of how much money JVSL was due to the Government. Only the bureaucrats concerned had a fair knowledge of it. The private company had been running its profitable business at the cost of the State with the connivance of Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) and Mysore Minerals Limited (MML), he alleged.

Besides the Congress members, others too urged Minister for Industries Katta Subramanya Naidu to act immediately and plug the revenue loss.

Interestingly, K.C. Kondaiah of the Congress requested the Government to cross check the facts before resorting to any action.

Clarifying that he was not supporting JVSL, he said it would be wise on the part of the Government to summon the authorities concerned to sort out the issue amicably.

In response, Mr. Naidu promised the House that there was no question of compromise in the matter. However, he would convene a meeting of officials and related agencies on Thursday and examine the facts before taking any step.