Visakhapatnam Steel Plant unions to seek merger of the plant with SAIL in their meeting with Union Minister on July 11

This is the only alternative to save VSP, they say adding that they will also seek two-year tax exemption to revive the plant

Published - July 10, 2024 10:13 pm IST - Visakhapatnam

Union Steel Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy reaches Visakhapatnanm on Wednesday.

Union Steel Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy reaches Visakhapatnanm on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGMENT

Union Steel Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy will hold a review meeting with the management of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, on the steel plant premises here on July 11 (Thursday).

Leaders of various unions, who have been fighting for more than 1,000 days against the proposal to privatise the steel plant among other issues, are ready to take the opportunity to meet the Union Steel Minister directly. They reportedly will seek merger of RINL-VSP with the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).

According to them, there will be no alternative to the problem except the merger of the steel plant with the SAIL.

The steel plant requires at least ₹13,000 crore immediately to return its original status. To get such a huge amount from the NDA government is impossible, they say and add that merger is the only solution.

Speaking to The Hindu on Wednesday (July 10), president of Steel Executives Association (SEA) Katam S.S. Chandra Rao said, “Merger with the SAIL is the only option for the RINL at this juncture. There is no best and immediate alternative solution to the Vizag steel plant as it is completely dead in all respects. We have been given 11.30 a.m. slot on July 11 to meet the the Steel Minister. We will raise our issue with him.”

Another steel plant union leader J. Ayodhyaram said, “Apart from merger with SAIL, we will also request the Steel Minister to give a two-year tax exemption to revive the steel plant. The steel plant paid ₹54,000 crore as tax, including ₹40,000 crore to the Centre and ₹14,000 crore to the State, since its inception. So, we are asking for two-year tax exemption.”

According to official sources, Mr. Kumaraswamy will visit the plant before conducting a meeting with the officials. Later, he would have a brief interaction with the union leaders before leaving for Hyderabad in the afternoon. After assuming charge as Steel Minister he has till now covered nearly four major PSUs, the sources added.

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